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