Friday, December 26, 2008

This and that

I'm laying on my couch, watching Monsters Inc. I'm going to go and check on the boy later. He's had somewhat of a skinful today, which contributed to his not feeling too great. He doesn't always cope well with family situations and today was a step too far for him. It's not something that I really truly understand. I'm totally okay with family situations, and enjoy myself a lot. But, different strokes for different folks I guess.

It's been a stressful few weeks here in scientician land. We're starting the move tomorrow to NBs house. I've got a lot to do, but no doubt it'll all get done and go fine. My plants are growing a lot and there are proper flowers on the capsicum plants.

Now, is definitely time though to go and start working out what stuff I need to pack for storage, which stuff to pack for moving with us, and which stuff to pack for selling/giving away/getting rid of. Movie is almost over and I need to get moving. Mind you, maybe getting an early night would be in order.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stress and itching

I’m itching to buggery. I don’t think this is helped by the fact that I’m wearing linen blend pants. It’s all my own fault really, I haven’t been moisturising properly. I always pay if I don’t keep that up. I have really dry skin that needs a good moisturisation to keep my body from completely itching from head to foot. It’s worse when I’m stressed, and when I’m busy.
At the moment, I have a lot to be stressed about. My thesis, while it continues along and seems to be proceeding okay, needs to be finished by a certain date so I can make that move to Sweden. I have a job lined up, yay!, starting on the 1st of March. I need my thesis to be completed, signed off on, printed and submitted before we leave, hopefully in the last week of February. This, in and of itself, is pretty stressful. But you add to the top of that, we’re moving in a week. We’ve got to be out of the current house by the end of the year. We’re having our final inspection on the 30th (wish us luck) and we need to pack everything up and move out. We’re moving in with my best friend of some 26 or so years, NB. She’s been my friend since I was two years old. We went to the same primary school and then separated to go to different high schools, but remained friends. We hardly ever see each other anymore, but the bonds of best friendhood have been maintained. So, she has graciously offered the boy and myself a place to stay between leaving this house and moving OS. So it’s back to share house living for a little while for us. We visited the house last night, on the walk back from the parentals. So the boy has now seen his new house for the first time. I think we’ll settle in well there, though it apparently gets hot in our bedroom, which for me is always known as Natalie’s room, after NB’s older sister. We’ll see how bad the heat is and if necessary sleep a few nights at the parentals, in their newly installed ‘evaporative cooling’ house.
In any case, everything we own has to be packed up and moved, either with us to the new house, clothes and DVDs I’d say, or put into storage at my parents house, or sold. I’m bringing my gardening endeavours with me, which continue to impress me with their proliferative nature (can you tell I’ve been writing about proliferation of cells etc in my thesis recently?).
Oh yeah, so onto the third thing that is stressing me, though perhaps to a lesser extent. We’re moving to Sweden! In about 2 months! And I have to organise a visa that has the right name on it, which I think should be my married name, though I intend to work under my maiden name for publication purposes etc. I still am waiting for my new passport to be sent to me, I hope it arrives before we move. We need to try and find somewhere to live in our new city. This is apparently going to be really difficult as the Swedish system of flat rental is interesting and complicated and the city we’re moving to, Gothenburg, is really tight, rentally speaking, at the moment. But I’m sure something will work out, it’s going to have to. We just have so much to organise, in particular what to take with us, flights to get us there, and all sorts of things to do with paperwork and the like. I’m trying not to stress about it, but it’s hard. I like to be organised and know what I’m doing.
The fourth and final thing that has been stressing me, and last week was the catalyst for a very shit day, is that my grandfather has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. He’s been having difficulties with that end of his food tube for a while. It was going to be ‘fixed’ last week and when they went in, they found cancer. He’s starting radiation therapy next week and has been told that it’s treatable. But he’s yet to see an oncologist, so I wonder a little about that. We’ll have to wait and see.
I can understand the process of cancer formation, and that, as you get older, it’s almost one of life’s inevitablities. But I want my grandfather to be well, to not be suffering with pain (as he is at the moment) and to continue to have a happy existence with my grandmother and their lovely dog, Monty. But there’s not much I can do about that. So I will have to wait, hope for the best and hope that he uses the pain medication properly so he doesn’t have to suffer pain and discomfort. It will be good to see him, and Oma, on Wednesday, for our traditional German Xmas. This year it’s at my parent’s house.

So, it’s been a stressful couple of weeks for me. I’m hopeful that, with the move over, we can relax a bit more and get back on an even keel. The boy has been delightful in helping me maintain my sanity and I cannot explain how much that means. He’s just delightful.

Back to the salt mines, ie my thesis writing. I wish that writing it was as easy and flowy as writing this blog post (that has been composed in the basement of the biomedical library at Melbourne Uni while on a mental break from working), but alas, no such thing is true.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My famous brother

I'm sitting in the living room. I've just finished writing some figure legends for my last result chapter to be drafted. I've found some mistakes, I'm in the process of fixing them and trying to find some of the data I want to use. In any case, I'm also listening to PBS. My brother is playing live with his band, the Black Jesus Experience. He's the drummer. They are probably what you would call a mix of African hip hop and jazz. It's hard to explain, but I like it. They're also playing the Melbourne leg of the Big Day Out next year and going to Womad (spelling?), the world music festival in Adelaide. He's definitely going places this brother of mine.

Ooh and he was doing his best as a Bradman model earlier in the week. He works for an auction firm that were auctioning off Donald Bradman's baggy green (one of them anyway) and he had to hold it for photos and the news. Apparently some friends saw him on the Channel 10 news.

If you're ever in Collingwood on a Sunday afternoon and want to see my brother in action, head over to The Horn, which is the African cafe that the Black Jesus Experience plays at every week. It's on Johnston Street, just near Smith Street. Then stick around and eat yourself silly on the really tasty Ethiopian food.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fats Waller

My lovely husband has acquired for me some Fats Waller. I adore it. Should I be allowed to DJ at all again, in a lindy hop context, I will be using some of this.

Lovely stuff.

I made another quilt

I'm in the process of making a cot quilt for a friend of mine's baby. She's due, actually I'm not sure exactly when she's due, but sometime next year. We haven't got a clue about gender, but there is a clue about hair colour. My friend is a redhead and it's a fair chance that she'll produce another one. So with that in mind, I tried to choose colours that would complement a ranga. It's finally up to the quilting stage. I hand sewed the 'squares' together with no pattern in mind, just a whole bunch of different sizes that I hoped would fit together nicely. I had a few holes in there that I had to creatively patch. But I think it's worked out well. So now all that is left is to quilt it, and then bind the edges and she's all ready for the expectant family. They're such lovely people, I hope they like it.

So here's a photo of the sandwiched together quilt. I used a tablecloth that I got from the op-shop as a base, some bamboo batting for the middle and the top that I sewed. Go crafty me.

Quilt sandwich for EEs baby quilt

Planting up a storm

I recently, well about a month ago or something, planted some food plants to help me keep sane and give me yummy food to eat. I planted a strawberry plant, cos lettuces about 6 capsicum plants, 2 jalapenos, some basil and some of that coriander you buy at the supermarket in a pot. The strawberry started off with no flowers and just one misshapen strawberry that was still white. It's now grown quite a bit, the strawberry is ripening nicely and there are flowers galore on it. The capsicums have started to have flower buds on them, as are the jalapenos, as well as growing a whole heap. The coriander initally looked like it had died and I thought I wasn't likely to get any. But it started to sprout a new sprout and I swear is growing mms overnight. I has a new prong to the sprouting part nearly everytime I look. The basil has grown, but seems to have stalled somewhat and I think needs to be repotted somewhere where it isn't shaded by the lettuce. The lettuce is growing well and we've started eating it in sandwiches and salads and I'm really pleased. Yay! So here are some photos of that, these are the grown up plants. I think I'll pick the strawberry really soon. It looks so tasty. Nom nom nom nom nom.

So here's the newly sprouting coriander:
Coriander sprouting

The buds on the capsicum:
Capsicum buds

The stawberry is top left, to the right of that is the jalapenos and along the bottom are the capsicums.
Chillies, strawberry and capsicum

Another capsicum plant in the background, lettuce in the middle and basil in the front. It also appears as though something is eating the basil. Perhaps it's time for more snail bait?
Lettuce and basil

Monday, November 17, 2008

Running is my drug of choice

I never thought that I would enjoy running. All throughout high school, while I danced a lot and was cardivascularly fit, or so I believe, I never was good at running. The school run was a torture. 1.3km or so, around the school. We had to do it for PE, a lot. So I never thought that running would be fun.
I can't remember when I started doing it. Maybe it was about 2 or 3 years ago when I was at the gym and thought that it might make a bit of a difference from cycling. In any case, I started and kinda enjoyed the endorphin kick I got from it.
In recent times, I decided to start the Couch to 5K program again. I had tried it on a treadmill in the gym before and had gotten to about week 3 (of 9) and then due to various different things like stress and illness didn't manage to get any further. Recently I wrote about the next thing to happen to me while trying to run, the ankle spraining. That turned into about 6 weeks of pain. I was on crutches for 2 weeks, not able to walk at all. I had an ultrasound, and an x-ray and a bit of physio. Turns out that torn ligaments really do take a long time to heal. But now I'm done with physio and my ankle is stable and strong. It still aches a little in the evenings if I've done a lot of activity. But it's pretty much healed. So I've started the program again. Last Monday I did a week 1 run again. I was supposed to run again on Wednesday, but due to the 35 degree day, I decided it was just too hot. Thursday was also hot and Friday it rained all day. Though I could have those days mixed up. In any case, no running was done then. But Saturday morning, I was determined. I got up early and did another week 1 run.
Now, the program says to run 3 times each week. But I figured as I had gotten through most of week 1 previously that I could get away with running week 2 today, rather than waiting until Wed. So this evening about 7.30pm I went out and did that run. And it was relatively easy. I was doing intervals of 90 seconds jogging/running with 2 mins of walking and I didn't completely exhaust myself. It was good to feel as though I'd gotten somewhere. A little fitter. So, the plan is as follows, run again on Wed and Friday this week. Get myself to week 3, and then week 4,5,6 etc. Don't get injured again! Fortunately, or unfortunately considering I just bought cross trainers to help support sideways motion of the feet, soccer is not on this season as they couldn't get enough people together for a team.
Okay, enough procrastination, let's write some thesis!

3 problems with our house

We've had a series of interesting problems arise with our current house. The first was that there was the pipe that took the water from the laundry sink outside. It was broken, before we even moved in, and would leak a lot of water down the side of the house. We were promised a plumber for a long time. This weekend, we finally got one. It only took 3 and a half months. But it was fixed! And in the meantime, while waiting for the plumber to eventuate, the bathroom sink was clogged and draino hadn't fixed the problem. The plumber fixed that too. Huzzah!

The second problem was the possum/s in the roof/wall of our bedroom. We called the real estate agents and after much harassment got them to send out a possum man. They were almost impossible to get hold of and I'm not sure they were convinced that the problem was really all that big. Mind you, they weren't getting woken at 5.30am by the little bastards returning from a night of frolicking.
Anthony, the possum man, came and looked around, found where they were getting in and set up a one-way exit. But we were still having problems, being woken at 5.30am every morning by the returning beast/s, hearing noise in the wall during the day. Anthony suggested that it may not be a possum. It was probably rats. After absorbing this more disgusting news, he put a non-lethal trap in the roof to have a look to see whether it was a possum or a rat. Possums are native and protected by law. So if we had both possums and rats, we'd have to get rid of the possums first, then bait the rats. The trap was set off the first night and whatever it was escaped. This pretty much confirmed rats. So Anthony has now baited them and we should start to find that they don't make any noise anymore. At one level, I cannot wait for them to be gone. We've been sleeping in the spare room because the noise is annoying, and we have a visitor coming this weekend to stay. We'd like to be back in our own room. At a different level, I feel bad for killing the rats in such a horrible way. Rat baits work by the use of an anti-coagulant, meaning their blood is very thin and doesn't clot properly. It also, I believe, includes something to ensure they start bleeding, like glass shards. So the little buggers bleed internally and aren't able to stop it. It sounds like a horrible way to go. Oh well, at least they won't be waking us up anymore.

The third problem is our lawn. The house is a on a really big block. The lawn hasn't been mown since we moved in, in August. Spring has been great for the growth of the grass and it's very high now. The possum man said it was a good idea to get it mown. No-one I know has a mower, so we've had to find someone to do it for us. You would think that would be simple. It is not. I initially called the guy who mows my parent's lawn. He's not doing lawns anymore and instead is doing a much more honourable and possibly more interesting job working with a charity that helps the homeless. The next port of call was one of those chain services, VIP. The guy rang me. He had injured himself in a pretty bad way, that might need surgery. He wasn't able to do our lawn. The third option was a guy I found in the yellowpages from the local area. He came this afternoon to look at the job and apparently will be here to do it 'sometime this week'. So I'm hopeful of this problem being solved too. Mind you, with my experience of the plumber (he called once, promised to call again to sort out a time and then never tried again. We had to call the estate agents to get his number, which should have been the case in the first place), I am skeptical of the mowing dude turning up at a sensible time or at all really. If it gets really bad, and he doesn't turn up, I have plans to be nice to our neighbours and borrowing their mower. They use it enough.

So soon our house should be going well and have little or no problems with it. Mind you, we only have a lease until the 3rd of January, so there won't be a heap of time to enjoy it.

Next post will be about bottling wine, growing herbs and veges and should include pictures of one of those things. But for now, I'm tired and the thesis work has been minimal today. I'm going to go and do some work on the discussion for my 'this worked' chapter of my thesis. I've got a fair idea what I'm going to write, but I have to get it down on paper first and then try and get it into the computer. Don't know why, but it's just how the brain sometimes works.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Possum magic

We have a possum in our roof. It woke us up at 5.30am. I am not impressed. I asked the boy to get on to the real estate agents about getting a possum man to come and remove it. I hope that that happens. But who knows? They haven't organised to fix a pipe that has a leak in it, so why help us out with the possum?

In other newses, I was in Canberra on the weekend, visiting, attending a wedding. I got to catch up with some ladies I used to work with. All but one of them was pregnant. I felt a little left out (not really). But it was great to see them all as well as all the other mates I've missed since moving back to Melbourne.

With all the pregnancies going on around me (another friend EE is also pregnant), I've been busy making stuff. Just little presents to give to expectant mothers. So here are some pictures I took earlier of presents taken to Canberra, or being sent to Tassie.

Booties for EE

Socks for Baby Jones

I made some more booties like the green ones for VA, but didn't get time to photograph them.

Anywho, I have just finished making a delightful cake and should go and ice it. I've also made a totally tasty salad to go with the lovely lamb chops I'm marinating for dinner tonight. I'm using my procrastination to good purposes today, I'm being a proper little housewife. As much fun as that is, shoot me if I start calling the boy my hubby. I detest that word.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I don't exactly know why, but today I am angry. There are a number of things that are making me angry.
-I received notice that an application I put in was unsuccessful, and not for content reasons.
-I'm angry because due to injury, I cannot exercise properly and am barely walking, though the barely walking is an improvement on the last two weeks I guess.
-I really want to be closer to finishing the thesis, but it seems like, today at least, it's an insurmountable task that looms over me, not allowing me to do anything else, not allowing me to move on with my life.
-I'm angry because I have to move soon and moving is a bitch and a pain in the arse and I really don't want to have to find somewhere else to live, I'm relatively happy with the place we have.
-I'm angry because I would like some more communication with someone, but am not getting it. Admittedly, I should be trying harder on my end, but they are a little bit scary, so I'm kinda avoiding it. Terrible I know. But it makes me angry that they haven't acknowledged me for quite some time.
So actually, I guess I do know why I'm angry. I'm most angry about thesis stuff, and frustrated that it isn't going faster. If I could exercise, maybe I would be able to vent that frustration and anger. Guess I'm just going to have to make do with screaming a bit and maybe punching something. Wish me luck.

Edited to add the following: fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Consider this my blogging version of screaming.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Injury prone

I don't know that the title of this post is strictly speaking true. I don't know that I am injury prone per se. But I seem to be able to injure myself at inconvenient moments. Like last Thursday. I have been the replacement Kate for my cousin's soccer team. The other Kate is injured, something to do with her knee. So for the last 6 weeks or so, I've been helping out and having heaps of fun, as I have mentioned. Until this last Thursday when it was almost an entirely family affair. My cousin G, his wife C and my other cousin T were all playing and Macca was the non-family exception. All was going great, I was defending like a mo-fo and all of a sudden my right ankle went over and I heard a snap. The snap was not good. I have not walked properly since, in fact until today I've been on crutches or hopping the whole time.
So Thursday night saw me being taken first to the Western Hospital in Footscray, where there was a 4-6hour wait to see a doctor, to the free medical clinic on Bell Street, where I waited about 35 mins to see a doctor who spelled soccer: soccar, and heard : heared. I'm guessing he didn't get his medical degree by being able to spell. In any case, he strapped my ankle, told me to get crutches, gave me a prescription for panadeine forte (woo woo!) and told me to go and get an ultrasound to see if I had any ligament damage. I finally made it home and started making the husband (hehe I still giggle at calling him my husband) do things for me. He made me a lovely dinner, helped me in and out of the shower, and the next morning gave me a piggyback to the toilet and went and got my crutches from the pharmacy. So this Thursday I'm going to the ultrasound place and then back to the doctors to see what needs to be done. I've bribed my physio friend with food to help me learn how best to strap the ankle and today I'm hobbling around the house sans crutches. I fear, however, that the dancing I had planned for tomorrow night will not go ahead, nor the running regimen I had started last week.
But in good news, I got two pairs of glasses for $400 and I've got some crafty things on the go. Should be great. Now I just want to get to an op shop to pick up some quilty type stashes, I forsee quilting in my future, or at the very least patchwork. Next post will have photos, absolutely!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Running and descriptive biology writing

Today has had two themes : running, and descriptive biology writing.

This morning I went for a run. I've started, for about the third time, the couch to 5K program. It's a running program that means in 9 weeks, if you follow it through, you can be running 5kms. It was good fun, and hard work. I'm hopeful that if I stick with it this time it'll help my indoor soccer skills. I've been playing indoor soccer for my cousin's mixed team on a Thursday night (not sure if I've written about it before) and while it's heaps of fun, it really does show up how unfit I am in a cardiovascular sense. We'll ignore all the other kinds of unfit I am for now. The fun bit was checking out a bit of the Yarra trail. It runs all the way from near my parents in Macleod to the city along the Yarra river. I got as far as about Ivanhoe, from Heidelberg, and then turned around and came home. I'm thinking that perhaps as the weeks progress I'll get closer and closer to the city. Though I don't think I'll ever go all the way in, it's about 25kms of winding track. So, theory of the program says I'll be running again on Wednesday. I hope that is true.

The other part of today is descriptive biology writing. I'm having a major mental block at how to write this though. It's for the most successful part of my thesis work that I've done, the prostate gland stuff. It's worked really well, but I'm just not sure how to write it. I know what content has to go in, I know exactly what I did and what I found out in the process. But I cannot for the life of me work out a way to write it in a coherent manner. It's very frustrating. I think I might have to start with dot points and move them around a bit until it flows. There are many ways to approach the writing. In a chronological sense (not in terms of when I did the experiments but the timing of the development of the organ), seems to be the most sensible, but there are other ways that also make sense to me. I really don't know what I'm going to do. I've made thesis figures already for this and they seem to make sense to me. Perhaps I should just describe them and go from there. Gah! It's all a bit brain-hurty.

And one last thing, in recent times, 19th September to be exact, I got married. I'm now Mrs Burgermeister, or am if you believe my boy and facebook. I've changed my licence and medicare card over to the new name and it's all a little strange. I'll be keeping my maiden name for work purposes, publications etc, but for everyday life I'm someone new. I wish this new Kate was good at writing descriptive biology.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

two more sleeps to go

In two more sleeps (3 days kinda), I'm getting married. Between now and then I'm getting a manicure, massage and an awesome hairstyle done. I finally can justify getting myself made up all pretty like. Huzzah! I think everything is organised for the day. I have my dress, ring, underwear and relaxed attitude all ready. Just need to get there on time and everything is fine, fine, fine.

The other news of this week is that my discussion for one of my chapters (thesis) is almost done. I hope to finish it today and send it to the supes with a note explaining the whole getting married thing and suggesting we chat next week about it. We haven't been chatting much of late, via email or via phone. I think it's time that changed, and after the wedding seems the best time. Before is just a ridiculous notion, too many other things on the go. He can, I'm sure, wait another couple of days before talking to me. He's managed to go this long without talking to me.

I've also been playing indoor soccer with my cousin's team on Thursday nights. It's been great fun. We're in a mixed team and I'm the replacement Kate. The other Kate from the team has hurt her knee and I've been called in to help out. Last week was probably my best week, I kicked two goals! Yay!

Other things going on are: I've been DJing in Melbourne. Hooray! I have now DJed twice at Carnivale, which is a new dancing night in the Melbourne scene. It's Thursday nights (after soccer for me) at Suede bar in Smith Street. It's been great fun. I love to inflict my musical choices on other people. I can't go this week though, nor to soccer. I'm getting my hair done in the city, then heading to the airport to pick up the boy's Dad and 'stepmum'. I say 'stepmum' because she's only been with his Dad since he's been grown up, so never had a role in raising him. Then it'll be straight home for sleep before getting up really early on Friday to get to the wedding on time.

Anywho, this is a rambling post with little sense, so I should go and bathe and get that discussion finished before my manicure this afternoon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reasons I like living in Heidelberg

Near to my house, there is a tiny cemetery. It consists of one small house block on a regular street. It's probably about 15 mins walk from my house. I was driving my mum's car back home this afternoon and noticed that there were two rabbits in there. I decided to drop in and take a few photos. The rabbits were obviously someone's pets. I hope they don't get run over, one of them hopped into the road as I was leaving. Enjoy!







Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lessons learned from thesis writing

Here's something I've learned today about thesis writing. No-one gives a crap about your thesis figures. They don't care how long you've spent on them, they really don't appreciate the works of art that they are. Fuckers.

My life is now dominated by thesis, thesis and preparing to move house. Thesis, preparing to move house, and contemplating going to Canberrang (swing festival in Canberra). Thesis, preparing to move house, contemplating Canberrang and getting married. Thesis, preparing to move house, contemplating Canberrang, getting married and moving to Sweden. But mostly thesis, yeah right!

Ah deary me! I am looking forward to being settled in the new house. I'm hoping it brings a lot of writing goodness and I hope that it all falls into place after that.

In other news, I've started watching Dexter on TV. I like it. I get where my friends raving about it last year were coming from. That and Grand Designs have to be my favourite TV shows at the moment.

To tie this up. Lesson learned: no-one else gives a fuck about my thesis, except me, and maybe my supervisor. But we are keen on it for different reasons, and the same ones too I guess. Getting me the hell out of the PhD student land and into gainful employment. Must get back to it. A chapter is almost ready for supes to read.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


In recent news, the boy has decided that he's 'the man' in our relationship now. This means he makes the important decisions in the relationship. This means, he decides (apparently) which football team we support, Western Bulldogs. I've tried to explain that that isn't how things work with football team support. But he is adamant that he is the Man and that his word is final. I think I'll just let him believe that if it makes him happy.

In other news, we have a house to live in together, yay! It's in Heidelberg, it's 3 bedrooms and it's a 3 month lease. That means we have three months to get my thesis finished, get married and get sorted to move to Sweden. Wish us luck, I think we'll need it.
We're moving in next weekend, so this week will be packing and preparing.
The other news of the last week has been that I have been suffering from what I'm pretty sure, was the flu. I had been feeling pretty poorly since last weekend and on Thursday I was exceptionally unwell. I took my mum to have her foot operated on and then spent the next 6 hours asleep at her house. I also stayed the night and slept most of Friday as well. Fortunately, today I'm finally feeling human and I think that by the time comes to get moving I should be feeling back to normal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Living in Armadale

So, I went for a run/walk thing this morning. Just walked down to the local park, ran around a bit, came home. On the way home I decided to play my favourite Toorak/Armadale/South Yarra game, how many 4 wheel drives. They are ever so prevalent here. To make the point more clear, I counted 104 4 wheel drives on my way home. It took me about 25 mins to walk back from the park. That's a lot of 4wd cars. I excluded all the ones that were obviously work trucks for those many many builders and handymen working on houses around the place. And if the car had dirt on it, and looked as though it had actually been used for off road driving, it was also excluded. 104! Gotta love people with more money than sense, or hate them? I wonder. Anywho, in my travels I also saw three labradors and two friendly cats. The cats were ever so keen to be patted. One tabby and one ginger. That is all, time to work on a project proposal for the Swedish Research Council and do some washing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I've been back in Melbourne now for 24 hours. Did I mention I was coming back? Yeah, I decided that writing my thesis would be more efficient with my boy near me. The boy is now my fiance, that's the new change as well. We decided to get married soon after my birthday and plans are afoot. We're going to make use of the registry office and have a small, tiny, hard to see wedding.

So what else is news? I'm in Melbourne - tick. I'm getting married - tick. I'm moving to Sweden -tick. I'm writing my thesis -tick. I've been doing very little exercise -tick. I'm feeling a little displaced -tick. But I'm good. Give me a week and we'll be firing on all cylinders.

I'm going to look at an apartment this afternoon in Alphington, wish me luck that it's fabulous and they take us. We need somewhere new to live.

End vague and useless post.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something else, vaguely interesting

I posted a photo of a mug of Max Brenner's hot chocolate quite some time ago. Turns out that it's a popular photo when getting people to check out this blog. I've been wasting some time checking out via sitemeter where people are coming from when finding their way here. This photo is apparently a big reason:imgp1831

You dirty bunch of bastards. Trust the thing that brings most people here is a picture that could possibly look like minge. Deary deary me. But what else was the internerd invented for but for pictures of minge. I know, boobs and arses too. And probably cock. Can you tell I'm tired? And procrastinating?

Notes I write myself late at night


This was to remind me to dissect the prostate glands from some developing pupae. It's sad that I have to write these things to myself, but necessary. This was written at about 11pm. So, due to the approximately 5 hours sleep I had last night, I'm off home for a snooze to come back later to do some kick arse microscopy of some different fly prostates from developing pupae. My life is ever the interesting.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reasons I am turning into my grandma and nanna

So I've realised in the last couple of weeks, I'm turning into my grandma, and her mum, my nanna. I present the following evidence:
Nanna used to like drinking just hot water rather than tea or coffee. She also drank a glass of water with lemon juice in it most mornings. I have taken to drinking hot water with lemon juice in it. Yum!
Grandma was the kind of woman who would read something in a newspaper article or magazine and go with the idea. This usually related to food. She read once that walnuts were good for reducing your blood pressure. So she stopped taking her blood pressure medication and just ate walnuts instead. She loved a food fad. My act of finding something in a magazine/newspaper wasn't a food thing though. I read somewhere that washing your hair only with conditioner was great for it, especially for those people like me with dry skin. Your hair apparently goes through a phase of being desperately greasy and then it rights itself. Today I'm wearing a headscarf to cover over the greasy hair. It's slowly getting there, I'm about a week and half in. If it doesn't improve soon, I think I'll give it a miss. But to be honest, it hasn't been that bad.

Just thought I'd share that. And the following: yesterday I went and saw tap dogs at parliament house and then went to see Kevin Rudd's office. Wheeee!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

immortal log update

I'm trying to kill the immortal log in our toilet. It really is living up to the name. There are a couple of bottles of creme developer that live next to the vanity unit in our bathroom. They contain peroxide. I've put some in the bowl and I'm going to leave it there for a while. I'm hoping it'll dissolve whatever it is that has taken up residence in our toilet.

This sort of thing makes me wonder about what my housemate must be eating. I can't imagine it's healthy stuff.


I quite regularly check out the Age website. I like seeing what's making news in my hometown of Melbourne. I like to have a look at the most viewed articles section at the bottom of the page. But there aren't just the most viewed articles from the age, there are also the most viewed articles from the brisbane times and also the sydney morning herald. I've noticed a trend. The articles most viewed in the bris times are inevitably of the more sensational variety. I wonder if that says something about people in Brisbane, or whether it says something about my prejudices. Probably a bit of both. But I do wonder about that. Why do those up north more reguarly click on the articles with the least intellectual content? Like the stuff about Lara Bingle getting engaged, or the latest Britney Spears scandal (like we give a toss).

The thesis work obviously continues apace. Back to it.

Lazy Kate and scooter riding

I always think of things to blog about when I'm riding my scooter into the lab or on the way home. But by the time I get to work or home, I'm too lazy to get organised to post anything. So this'll be a start at trying to get back on track with the blogging.

Today is a rainy day, I keep on checking the website to look at the radar pictures, waiting for a clear patch to head into the lab. There won't be one for hours. So I'm stuck in the house with the crazy dogs, waiting for a clear patch. This isn't so bad, I do have a PhD thesis to write, so I guess that's something to keep myself occupied. But it's also kinda hard to get going with that. But I will have something done by the end of today, something productive towards the thesis. I have already made a few thesis figures, so I guess that is a good start. Photoshop is ruining my brain though. That program is evil.

What other things are new in the land of Kate you ask? Or you would if you were reading this and gave a crap. The wedding I went to in Perth the other weekend was delightful, though we almost didn't make it in time. I blame cabs in Perth. Sneaky bastards never turning up. We made it in the end though so that was good. It was in Kings Park with the reception at the Old Swan Brewery. Both bride and groom were gorgeous and I'm so pleased they are married now. It's about time though, they've been together for more than 10 years now.

I'm heading back to Perth in a few weeks for some more dancing extravagance. It should also be a delight. I'm making a dress to wear to the ball and I need to sort out a mask. The dress will be pink and navy blue from a 1947 pattern. I need to adjust it a fair bit though, my lack of waist means that it's a bit snug around the middle. According to the measurements on the packet, my bust is a size 12, my hips are also a size 12, my waist is the right size for a size 16. There is something wrong with that. So I've adjusted the pattern accordingly and on the weekend I made up a mock top half of the dress with some fabric I've had sitting around for the best part of a decade. It was never going to be anything that I'd actually wear and now it's made itself useful.

On the easter weekend I did a few things. I performed at the national folk festival, hurting my back in the process. I drank a ridiculous amount of alcohol on Good Friday. I spent all Saturday recovering from that. But I didn't spew and am proud of myself for that. I've evidently learned some restraint in my 27 and a bit years.

Other than these fun things I've been working on my thesis, trying to get some final experiments to work and looking around to find a job to do once I'm finished the PhD. Fingers crossed something good will turn up and I can do some exciting work and get paid again.

More to come, when I'm next procrastinating expect another post. Maybe with photos, but don't hold your breath.

Final note: for those that remember the immortal log blog, it's back and refusing to die. It's definitely not mine this time. Ew!

Monday, February 18, 2008

What I did last night

I did a few things last night, all of which I am proud. I taught two dancing classes at our new venue, Macgregor Hall. Chris and I hit our teaching groove and were really working well together. We got our students dancing like fabulous dancey things and I am hopeful that they all enjoyed themselves. I was moderately smutty, but not too much. Just enough to make it amusing, or so I think anyway.

I picked up my housemate from the airport. I managed to score a free pie from the caltex next to the airport. I think if you turn up later in the evening (around 9pm) they are pretty happy to get rid of the remainders. My stomach is still okay, so I've assumed that there weren't any nasties in the pie.

I taught two friends of mine some basics of tap dancing. I haven't tapped for quite a number of years. I think about 5. But it was definitely all coming back last night. I have organised with the boys to get them to feed me in exchange for lessons. Feed the poor student is the name of the game. It was heaps of fun too.

The final thing I did last night was probably the funniest though. JJF is moving house this weekend and came over to drop off some of my stuff that I'd left in his cupboards. He turned up with the stuff at around midnight. He also brought with him a can of Mr Sheen and a big cloth. There is a park with some play equipment in it, just down the road from my house. Within the equipment is a metal slide. We've used the park for smashed by Kate for the last few weeks and noticed last week that the slide wasn't very slippery. JJF had the solution, Mr Sheen.
So we wandered down there with the Mr Sheen and the big cloth, soon after midnight. He sprayed the slide, and I was the first tester. I sat on the cloth and slid down, spreading out all the Mr Sheen. It was really fast, really, really fast. JJF slid down next and almost hit his head, he was going so fast he came off at an astounding rate and nearly fell onto his noggin. I laughed so hard. I kept thinking of all the kids who will use the slide in the future and will fly off. I think they'll get some pretty good air time. We played around with the slide for a few minutes after that. Then it was pretty much time to go home and get some sleep.

I had a pretty exciting evening last night. Topped off with some fabulous giggles with my best mate. Who, by the way, did pass the fitness test for the AFP and has only the interview left to pass before he can go to police college. The boy now wants him to change his surname, at least on facebook, to Gutenberg. And we have to watch a police academy marathon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When you are out and about sometimes you see things that make you laugh

This is one of the things that made me laugh recently while out and about. I'd just been to Questacon with friends. We had dropped off JJF's girlfriend at her house and were heading home, stopping on the way in Manuka to get dusted jelly babies. We passed a cafe and we saw the following:


I was amused. That is all. I'd write more about how touched I was about the sorry speech Kevin Rudd made today, but I have flies that desperately need my attention downstairs.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Smashed by Kate

For the last little while I've been running what we've termed 'Smashed By Kate'. It's a boot camp/personal training effort. It's rather fun. I get to be quite a nasty bitch and tell people what to do. After one session last week, I sent a text message to a friend, asking if he was in pain at all. His response was a one word text message: Bitch. I think he may have been suffering somewhat. Hehehehehehe. That does amuse me.
I have to admit, I was in a fair amount of pain too. Last week had 7 participants including myself. We did, amongst other things, walking lunges in a line from the park down the road, most of the way home. It also included lots of push ups, lots of sit ups and the beep test. Next week JJF is going to do the physical entrance test to the AFP again. He's been working pretty hard, so I anticipate that he'll get in this time.
I gave him a good copper haircut last night. About a number 2 or 3 all over. He obliged me also, by cutting my hair. It needed a bit of going over later, to make some adjustments to stop it kicking out all over the shop. But it was my favourite kind of haircut, free!
Oh yeah, so back to the SBK. This week will be a bit of a test run for the AFP entrance test. We'll all see if we can get into the police, well at least physically. I'm not sure we'd all past the psych test. Fingers crossed we'll also see Princess Kate (PK) there this time. It'll help the gender balance, and help with the Kate quotient.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Well this weekend saw the whole household, including dogs and my housemate's boyfriend traveling to Captain's Flat to have a look at Huskies. My housemate LJS had decided that when E moves out, her dog Tikka will need a companion. So it was off to look at dogs who might fit into our happy little home.
The drive down saw the BF and LJS and Tikka in one car and E, myself and Toren in the other. Toren was rather excited at the trip and licked my ear on numerous occasions from his position in the backseat. It was very affectionate, but at the same time kinda gross as I know what he does with that tongue and it's not pleasant.
We arrived to have a look at three different dogs, all in need of a home. A male dog, Beau, who was white, very friendly, but a lot bigger than we were looking for. Teaka, a 3 year old white husky, with different coloured eyes. The last dog was Coco, a dog who while only a year old had already had a litter of pups. She was brown/red, probably a cross with another breed and very sweet. In the end, the different coloured eyes of Teaka won the day. But having a name like Teaka, so close to Tikka, LJS changed her name to Ava.
So now at home there are three dogs. Two kelpie/husky crosses and a purebred Husky. She has already shown that she will be an interesting dog to live with. She's escaped once, more on that later, and she and Tikka are sorting out the pecking order. It'll be a little while before we know who the new boss of the dogs is, but my bet is on Ava. She's very sweet though, and submissive to humans and loves a belly rub, so she'll no doubt fit in well in the long term.

Stories for me to tell you tomorrow: Smashed by Kate, my new boot camp thing that I'm running with some friends on Sundays and dinner at the day to day supervisor's house, who is no longer my day to day supervisor, she has a job in the public service so we have to eat dinner to talk science. But it's rather nice having a sciencey meeting with wine, we should have done that earlier! But now I'm off to get ready to teach the first of the ANU dancing classes for this year. And the penultimate class at the ANU refectory.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two things

My scooter got to 20,000kms today. I have booked it in for a service tomorrow. Fingers crossed it won't be too expensive.

I noticed about ten minutes after arriving today that I should have worn a belt. I have evidently lost weight since last summer and these shorts are on the roomy side. Question is: go home and get belt, tough it out, or buy a new belt at lunchtime?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I saw the movie Atonement on Saturday afternoon. It was going to be a solitary 'get out of the heat' event. It turned into quite the social occasion. I'm teaching a jazz routine next week (do a youtube search for hotpockets and jojo to find it) and have been practicing the teaching of it with Princess Kate (PK), as she won't be able to make the actual class. We were having a go Saturday morning and then sitting around chatting afterwards. My housemate and her boy were thinking of what to do for the day and I said I had plans to go see a movie to get out of the heat. They decided to come with and PK thought that perhaps she and her boy M would also join us.
So, cut to later in the day and housemate, boy and myself were at the mall ready to go to the film. PK and M had phoned to say they were on their way. Housemate's parents were coincidentally going to the same session, we run into friends of housemate's boy. In the end there were 9 of us seeing the same film in the same session. Crazy.
I absolutely adored the movie. It was sad, it was funny, it was shot exceptionally well. My only gripe is that James McAvoy didn't have his shirt off enough. Other than that, I give it two thumbs up. The costuming in particular was great.
What else is news you ask? Tomorrow night we are hosting a dancing birthday party at my house. We have bought 10m of lino (dark grey marble) and we are having any number of people come over to dance and play sing star. I predict it will be the party that we'll all talk about in the weeks to come. Until such time as there is another one like it. It's a genius idea. Lino + talcum powder = an excellent dance space. We tested it out on Sunday afternoon and found it to be great. Can't wait to try it out for real with a whole party of people. I'll be DJing half of the event. Wish me luck.