We've finally got ADSL which means I've finally been able to upload my photos!
So you can now go to Sarah and Andrew's adventures in the US (aka our photo website...) to see what we've been up to.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Walls here seem to not be smooth, they're all stucco type non-smooth walls. Because of this it makes our favourite wall hanging method Command Adhesive kind of non efficient.
We've hung 8 things up using Command Adhesive and only 3 are still hanging. In the US you seem to be able to make as many holes in walls as you like when renting, I guess this is because it's the only way you can hang things!!
So we're going to have to resort to putting lots of holes in walls to hang things. That's a shame!
Created by Sarah at 9:05 pm
Monday, December 26, 2005
I had a cardiac MRI just before I left Australia which is supposed to be the most comprehensive heart scan that can be done, showing the most detail.
I finally got the report from it back a little under 2 weeks ago now I guess, and from the way it reads, it looks more likely that I may have the same thing that killed my dad and aunt. I haven't seen a cardiologist yet over here as you need health insurance, which we can't get until Andrew's social security number comes through (that's a whole other drama..). So I haven't had it all properly analysed, but if nothing's wrong when one of these things, the final report bit says "Nothing noted" or something along those lines.
This report basically said parts of my heart were enlarged. This had me worried so I rang my cardiologist back in Australia, who said it was nothing to worry about and I was in no danger. I don't believe he actually had the report at that time though. The initial scans done said that at the sinuses of valsalva, the measurement was 39mm which was at the upper limits of normal. The latest report says that same measurement is 41mm. I know 2mm doesn't sound like much, and there is a slight margin for error but it means either 2 things. Either the first test which isn't as accurate was a bit out and the measurement was actually a bit bigger than reported, or it has gotten a bit bigger since the first scan. And if it has grown 2mm in size in 6 months then that is a bit worrying I think.
Anyway, so at the University of Texas, through research they've been doing, they've identified a gene that causes aortic aneurysms and dissections. I contacted then a little while ago, and they said I was welcome to be part of the trial if I wished. So I contacted them again a couple of days ago and said I was now in the US, I am interesting in being part of the trial, and attached the report from the cardiac MRI they could get an idea of my situation, and decide for themselves if they thought it was nothing.
Her response was "This increase in your aortic size suggests that you may be a carrier for the same gene which predisposed your father and aunt to aortic aneurysm/dissections."
So now I'm not sure what to think. She's an expert in aortic aneurysms, and my cardiologist has never said that the heart measurements are still in the normal range, he's always answered my question asking if that's "normal" in saying that I'm in no danger at the moment, but to keep taking my pills and not to do any strenuous exercise. For the moment though, she's sending me a saliva collection kit, so I can send some saliva which they can do DNA testing on, and see if I have this same gene that they've already identified as being a cause. It's unlikely that they'll be the same apparently, but that's what research is all about - lots of testing! I won't take the researchers comment as the final word though give that she does not have my full history.
I certainly do believe I'm in no immediate danger of having a heart problem as such, and it has to grow a fair bit more to be in the category of needing surgery, but my fear is more that it's looking more and more likely that it's going to turn into an aneurysm, and not being able to do anything about it. Once it is at the size that it is considered an aneurysm, there's still nothing you can do until it reaches an operable size which frustrates the hell out of me. I don't like the thought of just sitting back and monitoring it until it reaches this magical size, and not being able to do any sort of strenuous activity because it might cause it to dissect split.
For the moment though, it just means a lot more monitoring to figure out if it is growing in size, or if it's just big for some strange reason.
Created by Sarah at 7:19 pm
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Merry christmas everyone!
Today I cooked my first ever Christmas dinner! We got our sea freight delivered yesterday which was nice because it meant we could invite people over and not sit on a cardboard box dining table, and we had everything else needed to do a Christmas dinner.
So yesterday we spent the entire day unpacking our 110 sea freight boxes so that the place would look reasonable. There was a few stressful moments when we couldn’t see a lounge room set up that didn’t involve couches being in the way, the TV being too far away from the only cable tv outlet, or worrying about a configuration that meant expensive speakers would not be able to be used. Legs for the coffee tables had also gone missing as had bolts to put them on, which was a bit frustrating, but things were eventually found (in boxes that had nothing to do with the dining room!). After going out to the shops to get a few things and clear my head, I got home and almost immediately saw a lounge room configuration that would work and things were looking a lot more under control.
So Christmas morning this morning felt very non-christmasy as it was only us and we had too much to do to really think about Christmas too much!
We’d invited Michael, and another recent Aussie Google hiree also named Andrew and his wife Margaret to join us for Christmas lunch, so I started preparing about 11am (it was going to be a late lunch). I thought this whole lunch thing sounded easy. Put together the ready to go stuffing, stuff the turkey, cut some vegies, cook it all, and voila Christmas lunch! There seemed to be a lot more involved. Christmas lunch/dinner was ready at about 3:30pm I think, and I was in the kitchen most of that 4 ½ hours! It wasn’t too bad though. I enjoyed cooking for the first “dinner party” in our new place, and I tried doing Yorkshire puddings for the first time using my nan’s recipe.
So the others brought stuff and we had a combined traditional American/Australian/English Christmas dinner with turkey, cold ham, roasted and steamed vegies, Yorkshire puddings and gravy, and for dessert we had plum pudding (bought especially from the Aussie shop in San Jose) with custard (surprisingly hard to find, and what we got was some slightly odd Jello custard stuff....), and pumpkin pie, which we were a little worried about, but turned out to be quite nice. The pumpkin pie was interesting to cook. It was a frozen Sara Lee type pie, which you normally just throw in the oven for a bit then eat. This one was “Homemade” and uncooked as opposed to cook and reheat, so took 1 ½ hours to cook, then was suppose to cool in the fridge for 2 hours!!! Instead we threw it in the freezer for 10 minutes and ate it semi-cooled.....
I really enjoyed it – it was nice to have a quiet Christmas after having so much happening over the last couple of months. It was also nice to have cooked most of it myself! I just told my nan about the Yorkshire puddings and she’s very proud :)
We’ve also got pretty good weather at the moment. I mean it’s been raining a bit, and the next few days say rain, but it’s certainly not all that cold considering it’s the middle of winter! We really haven’t put the heater on at all. Before our doona arrived, I was putting it on in the bedroom for 10 minutes before bedtime and closing the door just to heat the room up, but even now I’m waking up too hot with the doona, and I don’t think we’ll even bother with it. On the warm days I can walk around in jeans and t-shirt and be comfortable, and I’m someone who really feels the cold.
Our place is also looking reasonably unpacked and livable, so that’s also good! We’re happy with our townhouse and the area, and are already feeling very settled which is nice.
Andrew’s got the next 2 days off, so we’ll have to make sure we take a break from unpacking to go and see some of the local sights!
I hope everyone else had a good Christmas and isn’t too stuffed with food! :)
Created by Sarah at 9:28 pm
Monday, December 19, 2005
We moved in to our new townhouse yesterday which was quite exciting. So today I spent all morning packing away the clothes that yesterday I'd just dumped out of the boxes and onto the floor.
Anyway, so because we had no food and can't use our benchtops (they resurfaced them and are still drying) I decided to get a burger along the way to my volunteer work at the animal shelter which started at 2pm.
So I toddled along to the local Carls Jnr (kinda McDonaldsy for those back home), and order a low carb burger which I thought sounded exciting. I got to the car and opened it and there was NO BUN!!!!! That's what makes it low carb! There's no freaking bread involved!!! It's just wrapped in a crapload of lettuce with lots of paper around it which makes it very messy to eat! How many people would knowingly go get a burger and demand to have no bun with it???? Obviously crazy Americans!
Oh well. So my road bike as well as Michael's mountain bike came in our air shipment on Saturday, and tonight we picked up Andrew's new mountain bike from the bike store and set about setting Andrew's bike up with clipless pedals and putting my bike together. Andrew's never used clipless pedals before, so there will be much giggling from my end and frustration from Andrew's end and probably a crash or two until he gets used to them. That's what happened to me anyway, Andrew might be less uncoordinated!
So tomorrow I'm going to ride into Google with Andrew and Michael as we explore the bike path and the boys attempt cycle commuting for the first time. Hopefully it won't rain...
Created by Sarah at 11:20 pm
Saturday, December 17, 2005
I now have my email address over there ----> under my profile if anyone wishes to email me. I may not email back particularly promptly at the moment, but I'll get there.
Created by Sarah at 9:00 pm
Andrew and I had a lovely dinner last night at a restaurant called Nicolino's to celebrate our birthdays (which are less than a week apart). It's an Italian restaurant down the road that was recommended to us.
The food was very delicious (and heaps of it!), they had live music all night with pianos, violins, and clarinets - including the young music students of the main guy who was playing. The music was a bit loud at some points - the guy with the violin had a microphone to pick up the violin sound, so it drowned out everything else while he was doing that which made it hard to talk. It was very pleasant though!
We move tomorrow into our new place which is a little exciting. We even got our air shipment delivered today!!! Woohoo!! We have clothes! So I'll probably be without internet access for a few days while we get that sort of thing sorted, so I probably won't be responding to many emails any time soon (yes, I'll be even slower at replying than I am at the moment!!).
Tomorrow we also pick up our new bikes, so it'll be good to go for a bit of a ride to check out what's around.
Created by Sarah at 2:55 pm
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Ok, so I’m well and truly overdue in the way of updating life so far in the US! I have lots to say, so this is just kind of a brain dump of everything that’s going on.
As of tomorrow I will have been here for 2 weeks. I have discovered that my work permit will take 3 months to get processed (they’re currently processing permits submitted in September). That means that I can’t get a social security number until I get my work permit. This has caused all sorts of problems as the entire country runs on their social security numbers. To get a California drivers license, you need a social security number (SSN). Because I can’t get an SSN, I just need proof that I’m not eligible for one. I thought that’d be pretty easy. I rang the social security office, and they said they can’t just do something saying I’m not eligible yet, I have to actually apply for one and wait for it to be knocked back, then show the rejection letter to the DMV. Sheesh! And given that Andrew’s been waiting for his SSN for 4 weeks now, it’ll probably take at least that for mine to be rejected once I put it in, so I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it. Apparently you’re supposed to get a CA drivers license within 10 days of entering the country if you’re going to be a permanent resident – ha!
So anyway, I’ve just spent my time so far just pottering around the shops, getting stuff sorted out. I’ve been to various bike shops trying to decide which mountain bike to get – I decided on the Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc.
Andrew got a nice Iron Horse mtb, and we get them properly fitted on Sunday and will also get all the accessories then as well (clipless pedals, shoes etc), so we can both go out riding together, and Andrew can cycle commute to work, so that’ll be good.
I’ve also been to a few car dealers just to see what’s around, and what sort of price things are. We’ve still got an ’06 Prius on order, but I wanted to see what we could get new and second hand and for what price.
A couple of days after I got here I also had a rental tour with a guy that’s organised through Andrew’s work to help us settle in. I was still incredibly jetlagged at the time, and this guy was very full on and quite excitable, so that was quite a full on day – especially as we were looking at places from 10am – 4pm! The good news though was that we found a place we liked, and we signed a lease for a 2 bedroom townhouse which we move into this Sunday. The townhouse is very nice, similar in setup to our place in Watson, Canberra. You can get an idea of what the townhouse is like at the Central Park apartments website So last weekend Andrew and I went out looking for housey things we’d need. Namely lamps. For some reason, this crazy country has an aversion to lightbulbs in ceilings. They have lights in hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and that’s about it! Everything else is lit by lamps. So we now have lamps so hopefully we won’t crash about too much in the dark when we first move in!
On the weekend we went to check out the bike path that’s near our new home so we could figure out the best route for Andrew to cycle or roller blade to work, and discovered that the cycle path is beautiful! It runs by a little creek, goes right near our house, and takes you most of the way to Andrew’s work, which is great! There was heaps of squirrels running around, people out walking, cycling, rollerblading and taking pets for walks. We realised we were very lucky to choose a place so close to the bike path, and love the entire Mountain View area. We went walking around downtown Mountain View on the weekend and were very pleased with what we saw. I think we will really enjoy living here.
Driving on the “wrong” side of the road has been fine. I still find that if I’m walking towards the car and I’m on the right hand side, I head towards the right hand side of the car to drive, then realise I have to go to the other side and probably look quite silly!
I’m still not sleeping well. Probably a few reasons for that – I don’t have a schedule for my days, so can sleep in until whenever, and I’m going to bed late, so sleeping in until fairly late (for me), then going to bed later because I’m getting up later and so on. I’ve probably also got a fair bit running through my mind, and I’m also not really doing any exercise, so not wearing myself out at all. So I’m going to try to get up earlier, and go to the gym in the morning for a bit (there’s a gym in the complex we’re in right now, and there’s also one in our new complex), then do whatever I need to do after that. Hopefully that’ll help!
To keep boredom at bay on a more longer term basis, I’ve put my name down to do some volunteer work at a couple of places. Today I had my first day working at the local animal shelter with the pussy cats. I’ll be with the kitties a couple of hours a day, a couple of days a week, and also doing reception for them on Monday and Wednesdays for about 4 hours each day, then just on Wednesdays when one of the other volunteers comes back from holidays. It’s good fun, with the cats I pretty much take them out of their cages, and put them in big play pens and play with them, socialise with them, brush them and cuddle them to keep them happy and to also be able to get an idea of their personalities for potential new owners! I also clean out their litter trays when needed, and basically just make sure they’re doing ok. There’s a few kittens there who are incredibly cute, and the older cats are just adorable as well. Their website is very outdated, so I think one of the first things I’ll do is take fresh pictures of all the kitties and update their website!!! Once I manage that, I’ll post the link so you can all see my favourite pussy cats. :-)
The other volunteer work I’ll be doing is through the local Adult Education college and called “Literacy in the Classroom” – I think it’s just part of the Adult Education college as a way to advertise for volunteers. I meet with the lady on Thursday so I’lll know more then, but basically I think they give us a crash course in working with kids, and then we go to the local school and work with kids in grade 2 for a few hours one day a week doing reading and writing with them. Should be interesting!! Hopefully it won’t clash with the animal shelter shifts….
Not too much else happening at the moment. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve just gotten frustrated with the system and the whole not being able to do anything without a social security number. Moving country isn’t the easiest thing in the world!! Luckily Andrew is wonderful, and now that I have some volunteer work to do, I feel a little more useful and can plan my weeks activities around that, so that’s great! We’re loving chasing around after squirrels – we’ve seen heaps and they’re very cute. They won’t stay still for photos though which is a shame!
The people we’ve met around here are really nice. You can’t talk to anyone on the phone though as they have no idea what you’re saying! I also had my first clueless American moment the other day. A car salesman asked where I was from , and I said Australia, and he thought about that, and said to me “that’s near the Czech Republic isn’t it?”. Just how do you respond to that???????
It’s amusing here in the “land of the fat” where everyone seems to be on one sort of diet that really isn’t any low fat options at the supermarket. We try to get low fat in everything we get if the option is there – milk, yoghurt, cheese, meat etc. Over here there really doesn’t seem to be any options for low fat, if there is they are quite difficult to find. For example, my “specialty” dish is a spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken breast on cous cous thingy. It took me forever to find chicken breasts for a start. There were massive turkeys, various bits of turkeys, chicken wings, chicken drumsticks and so forh, and finally a small section of chicken breast fillets. They were packaged a little differently, but I got them and moved on. Frozen spinach was very hard to find as well. There was plenty of creamed frozen spinach (I didn’t even want to see what was in it...) and I eventually found a wee box of plain chopped spinach. The ricotta is available in skimmed ricotta, but doesn’t quite taste the same as Australia ricotta, but that’s ok. Anyway, so I get home and start preparing the dish, and open the breast fillets to slice them open so I can stuff them with the spinach and ricotta mixture and there’s nothing to slice!!!! They’re chicken pancakes! Flat as flat can be. Very bizarre. There’s also a fair bit of fat on them which I need to trim off. What’s wrong with nice juicy bits of chicken?? I’m going to see if I can find a butcher so I can chicken which hasn’t been flattened to resemble a pancake.
The other meats are also very fatty. Everything you get you need to trim the fat off. I managed to get lean mince so that was one bonus! All the cereals are very sugary, you can buy big tubs of lard (ewwww) and everything in general is just sold in extra large portions. It’s very hard to buy a small pack of mince, or just a couple of steaks. No wonder everyone over here is so overweight!
One thing I do love though is the Starbucks in the Safeway supermarket. The supermarket trolleys even come with cupholders so you can get your drink and put in the little cupholder for while you do your shopping. Very cute :-) I have found it interesting that pretty much all the wine has corks here. In Australia many wines now have twist tops rather than corks, and personally I much prefer twist tops. I was looking for a Riesling and could not find one, in a fairly large selection, that had a twist top! A Sauvignon Blanc that had a twist top had a big tag around the lid explaining why they used twist tops and absolutely assuring that it did not affect the quality at all, as though they had to defend themselves for doing it! So there you go...
Anyway, that’ll probably do for now. I daresay most people have fallen asleep by now.... I’ll try to update more regularly so I don’t end up with massively long posts!
Ciao for now!
Created by Sarah at 10:13 pm
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Day 7 - Malaysia
Last day in Singapore was quite interesting! We went to Malaysia (S$2.40 each way on a bus!) and went through Singapore and Malaysian customs a couple of times to get in and out so now my passport has more stamps in it :)
We went to a city called Johor Bahru which is literally just across the border from Singapore. It was very different to Singapore in the way of cleanliness, and feel. In Johor Bahru I felt as though I needed to hold my bag the entire time. I had a small Kathmandu bag that goes over your shoulder and I'd been wearing in front of me, and just holding when I was somewhere busy, but in Malaysia I never let go of it. I noticed Mum, Nola and Vicki seemed to be holding their bags fairly tightly as well. There was taxi drivers trying to convince you to get in their cab and drive to you a particular shopping centre where all the tourists apparently go. They seemed to be charging a fortune for it though, and were there just as you got out of Immigration, and this shopping centre was not in our Lonely Planet guide for the area, so they seemed a bit dodgy to us, and we just kept trying to dodge them all.
We only went for a bit of a wander, and headed back to Singapore after only a couple of hours. The best part of Malaysia was the Immigration officers. They seem to like fair hair, and I got stopped going in and out as they were having a joke with me and laughing. The guy as we were leaving Malaysia was a scream, he was taking forever with people, and we were getting annoyed, but when we got up to him, he was smiling, and having a laugh at us because we were jostling to be next in line and telling mum how beautiful I was and singing to us! We had a good laugh with him.
After Malaysia we went back to our hotel and just finished off last minute shopping, got some more presents and backed our bags to leave.
Day 8 and beyond- Leaving Singapore and arriving in the US
We got up early to be at the airport by 6:30am, and went to our respective flights. I flew Singapore Airlines and they were fanastic! Great service, really yummy food, movies, tv shows and CD's on demand, so you can choose to start what you want when you want, and they had a huge range. I snoozed for maybe 45 minutes in the entire 17 1/2 hours as there was just so many movies to watch! I had two seats in my row, and we had a stop in Seoul, and from Seoul to San Fran I had the seats to myself to could stretch out a bit, and have both blankets and pillows which was a little more comfortable. Good thing too as that was an 11 hour leg or something ridiculous like that, and it was loooooong! Seemed to take absolutely forever before we finally made it!
Andrew had ordered a "limo" (which was just a nice car with a smartly dressed driver) to get me from the airport, and thankfully he was waiting for me, so could just get in the car and not have to worry abour driving or directions or anything like that.
When I got to our temporary accommodation I slept for most of the afternoon as I was pretty exhausted. The apartment is really nice and the bed is incredibly snuggly and comfortable. As soon as I get in, I feel as though the whole bed is wrapping itself around me, and I immediately fall asleep.
The next day I drove Andrew and Michael to work (the driving is nowhere near as bad as I expected!), came home, put some washing on and immediately fell back into bed and slepe for another 3 hours! I woke up at one stage and was still so exhausted that I was trying to force my eyelids open, bue I was still snoring!! I realised that waking up wasn't meant to happen so just fell back to sleep.
I've also been on my rental tour where I spent the day with out "relocation consultant" Rick who is an aboslute character - very talkative and exciteable (even by my standards!) and he showed me a bunch of apartments. Andrew and I went back today and decided on an apartment and put in an application for it.
It's only a few k's from Andrew's work, is a nice 2 bedroom, 2 storey townhouse (similar style to what we had in Watson), and less than we thought we might have to pay (but still ridiculously expensive...).
We also went to the dealership we're puying out Toyota Prius off and went for a drive in the '06 model like what we'll be getting and it was very cool! Very nice little car - great features, very maneouverable and still has plenty of power.
As Andrew and Michael have been working, I've been driving them to and from work every day so I can have the car and it's been so easy driving. Driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road is easier than expected. Yuo tend to drift to the right hand side of the lane a bit as you're used to your head being in the right side of the lane not the left, and I reach for the hears to my left rather than the right, but that's about the only problems. The exits can be a bit scary as well. You take an exit, but at that same exit, people are coming on to the freeway , and the exit often has 2 exits to different roads, so you need to be in the correct lane to get to the correct exit (by reading the exit number/road name on the actual lanes), and watch behind for any cars trying to get onto the freeway who'll be cutting in front or behind you. Completely mad.....
The malls are pretty cool though, and American pretzels are sooooo yummy! The people are ridiculously friendly, and the areas around Andrew's work (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto) are just beautiful. The "downtown" areas have beautiful old shops that remind me more of a small country town (with more people!). The mountain ranges are also pretty impressive - I'll take pics soon.
I've put in my paperwork to apply for a work permit but apparently it'll take about 90 days to go through. I've got plenty of things to do still, and that doesn't even include sightseeing so that should be ok. There's plenty of other Australian Google wives around it seems, so I'm sure I can meet with others during the day to go sightseeing which is good!
Overall, I think we'll really enjoy it here - the people and area are great, and there seems to be a lot to do. So make sure you all come over and visit us sometime!!!!!
Created by Sarah at 4:42 pm
Monday, November 28, 2005
Day 4 (Saturday) Shopping
Shopping day. Went and checked out the shopping malls again. I'm not a big shopper so didn't buy much - only 4 packs of razors for Andrew and one lot for me as they were a lot cheaper than Australia.... Had another S$2 lunch from next door and went to Chinatown in the evening, bought some wall hanging type souvenirs and had Chinese steamboat for dinner - despite the look on my face in one of the photos, it was very yummy.
Day 5 (Sunday) Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
Biggggg day! We left the hotel by about 8:15ish to go to the Singapore Zoo, and did the night safari afterwards and got home about 10pm.
The Singapore Zoo is a fantastic zoo!! There's heaps of feedings happening all day for heaps of different animals. They're "token feedings" (ie. snacks) which allows you to see the animals eating as their main meals aren't neccesarily during opening hours. They also make sure they throw food all over the animal area as well to give them exercise and so you can see them in action.
The zoo is set up really well, with as few actual fences as possible, and it's great to be able to get involved in the feedings. We fed elephants, Hamadryas baboons, the massive Arapaima fish - also got a photo of mum almost crapping her pants as the fish jumped out of the water. These beasts are upto 2m long and upto 90 or so kg. They just kind of snap out of the water to get their food.
The monkeys were all a scream. There was heaps of chimps and we could have spent all day watching their antics. Among them was mum, dad and small baby who was clinging to mum. There was also a naughty chimp. He kept trying to annoy the baby and mum. he'd come up and push mum who would push him back and they'd have a bit of a barney until dad came and sorted things out. Then the naughty one would run off and come back with a stick and bash mum over the head!!! That caused dad, older brother, and mum to go racing after him trying to beat him up! It was an absolute scream. After that the naughty one would come and parade in front of us jumping up and down and clapping his hands. He obviously thought it was hilarious :) We were talking to a keeper who throws in any leftover bananas into them if he goes past as he usually sits and watches them for a while. He said if the naughty one wants a banana and he hasn't got any, the naughty one will find a stick and throw it at him!!! Such characters. It was also cute to see the baby and what we thought was an older sibling playing chasey racing after each other running around mum.
Other highlights were the white tiger feeding, the elephant show which included elephants working and playing, the proboscis monkeys which I thought were just GORGEOUS, a walk through area which had ring tailed lemurs which were so used to people and more happy for you to give them a pat, the jaguar feeding was impressive, and I took some footage of that one and the elephant ride was cool too!
The night safari was a bit of a let down after being at the zoo all day. I mean it was very well set up again with no fences between you and the animals and you did a tram ride through the park and they just had cattle grates to keep the animals from going to the next enclosure. They also had great "mood lighting" so the enclosures looked as though they were lit by moonlight. The only problem was that we'd seen the same animals during the day at the zoo when there was more light, so they were easier to see and thanks to the feedings you got to see them in action. We didn't really see the point of the night safari - the animals were just as lazy still at night!
There was a fair bit we didn't do as it was 9:30pm we were over it by then after being at the zoo since 8:30am....
Day 6 (Monday) Jurong Birdpark, resting and Singapore Slings!
Today we went to Jurong Birdpark. I wasn't all that excited about a zoo with only birds, but my aunt Nola was keen so we all went along. There was a great Bird of Prey show with birds such as eagles, owls and vultures and that was pretty impressive. Aunty Vicki got to be part of the show and hold some owls so that was good! Asians seem to be quite reserved so don't volunteer for things, but us Aussies throw our hands up and wave them wildly once we hear "Can I have a volunteer for...."
They had plenty of birds I love such as macaws, birds of paradise, various parrots and lorikeets. Ok, so lorikeets are very Australian, but I love feeding them and it'll be a while until I see another! They had a massive enclosure for them and you could purchase some feed for them, so we got some great photos.
My favourite parrot is the eclectus parrot which I think are just gorgeous, and we all got in a photo holding a bird, and I got to hold an eclectus so I was happy (although I was hoping for the beautiful green male, but got the red female - oh well).
Then we got home, got a few more things from the shops we needed, had a bit of a relax, then went to Raffles!!!
We had a great time at Raffles. We only stayed for a Singapore Sling each (and at S$20 each,, you'd only want one! S$20 would get me 10 good meals at my favourite little food guy!!!). But the atmosphere was fun and we took plenty of pics and ate lots of yummy peanuts (and I stuck to tradition by throwing the shells on the ground unlike my more OH&S conscious relatives...).
We got back to the hotel and the others got some dinner (from my favourite guy, but he charges them S$2.50 - he only ever charges me S$2!), and we sat around laughing at our photos and just giggling lots.
Day 7 (Tomorrow)
We discovered when going to the zoo that the Malaysian border is very close and we can get a cab there for about S$20, so that's the plan for tomorrow! Zip over to Malaysia, get a stamp in our passport, if there's anything over the border have a wander about, then zip back to do any last minute things before we fly out on Wednesday! Gee time flies.
Things I've noticed Part 2
- Road rules, indicators, and anything like that seem to be a guide rather than a rule! Nobody stops for you at pedestrian crossings, people just weave in and out of traffic without bothering with indicators, if you're sitting in the passenger seat of a cab, the while line seems to be going under you most of the time as they don't bother staying in one line, they prefer to take up a couple of lanes.
- Singaporeans do not walk with a purpose and do not watch where they're going. We walk reasonably briskly and are constantly getting caught going at a snails pace behind people, or they walk out in front of you without looking to see where other people are, or there'll be a group of people taking up the whole sidewalk, they'll stop, turn around to be looking towards us (waiting for really slowpokes) and won't even think to move out of the way.
- Cabs are SO CHEAP!!! Costs us S$4-5 to go most places we want that are local. For the far away places we haven't paid more than S$15 for a 20 minute or so drive! Amazing!
- Hotel staff are just lovely. Not have to be friendly, but genuinely friendly. My aunt Nola is a smoker so is often downstairs having a smoke, and quite a few doormen know her now and have a chat and ask what we've been upto. One of the waiters Norman knows us (we have a buffet brekky included every day) and always says hi and asks how we're going and many others may not speak english very well but are getting to know our faces so always greet us when they were a little shy before.
- The entire place is just very well thought out. From the layout of the tourist attractions to the cultural areas, we've been very impressed.
- They aren't big fans of REAL milk! The soy milk is just completely gross, so have been putting regular milk in my tea at breakfast time, and it's always UHT milk. Bleuchh! I'm hanging out for a real loose leaf cup of tea with real milk. Mmmmm!
Anyway, not long to the US now!! Can't wait to get there! It's nice to finish a holiday and have something else exciting to look forward to rather than just going back to the drudgery of work and regular life.
Next post will be from the US!
Created by Sarah at 1:47 am
Friday, November 25, 2005
First of all - photos are at http://photos.andrew.net.au/singapore
We've been in Singapore for 3 days and done so much! I'll try to start from the beginning and add more later probably.
I'm travelling with my mum and aunt Nola from Brisbane and my aunt Vicki who lives in the Seychelles.
We arrived on Wednesday morning (albeit 2 hours late due to an electrical storm in Sydney) and started with a wander down Orchard Road (main shopping street in Singapore) while we waited for Vicki. When Vicki arrived (also 2 hours late because her plane had engine problems and had to turn back to the Seychelles), she took us to other shopping malls around the place and we all marvelled how cheap everything could be with a bit of bargaining.
Thursday we did the tour bus thing. There's currently a deal on where you get 6 (mainly) hop on hop off tours for S$33, so we took full advantage of that! The first tour we did was a city tour that did a general tour of singapore. It stopped down near the river where we got off and did a river cruise. We went for a wander down the markets near where the river boat dropped us back off while we waited for the bus to come back. We jumped back on, went to the botanic gardens which was quite beautiful and went to the Orchid Gardens that are in there. I have a fair few piccies from the gardens!
From there we got back on the bus, and got back off at the starting point which is Suntec City (another big shopping complex). We then got straight back onto the next tour which was the heritage tour. This bus goes through the different cultural areas of Singapore. We got off at Little India and wandered through there and stopped at an Indian place to have some lunch and the food was just amazing. The spices just made the meals taste so different to what you get in Australia. We also discovered Tiger beer. Tiger beer is wonderfully refreshing, and I'm not much of a beer drinker, but the Tiger beers go down very well! I've had a head cold for the past week or so, and the Indian food completely cleared out my sinuses!!!!!
So we kept wandering through Little India, through the huge 24 hour Mustafa Centre where once again everything is very cheap. I saw some Lindt chocolate for about S$20 and I remarked to mum how that was actually quite expensive, and she showed me the chocolate side on - there was actually 8 big blocks in there for $20 (about AUD$18 I guess)!!!
By this time it was getting late and we had another tour bus to get so we left Little India and kept on the Heritage Tour bus through other cultural areas and back to Suntec. From there we caught a Moonlight bus which goes to Sentosa Island to see the musical fountain. We had no idea what to expect but it was awesome!! It had a big spray of water going up into the air, and they had a laser show firing into the water which was just amazing! It's hard to explain, but in my photos, there's pics of it, and also a couple of videos I took - gives you an idea of what it is as it's very hard to explain!
When the musical fountain finished we got back on the bus and went back to Suntec via Orchard Rd which is lit up with christmas lights and looking beautiful. We got back to our hotel and mum and I were a bit peckish as we hadn't eaten since lunch and it was 10pm by then (lunch was very filling though, and we weren't exactly starving). There's a little open area next to the hotel which has lots of little shops all selling the same sort of food all trying to get your attention as you walk by. We grabbed dinner from there - just take away rice, steamed vegies and sweet and sour pork for me, and it was S$2.50!!! It was more than I needed, but the guy kept putting more food in the plate when I kept saying it was plenty! So cheap, and very yummy.
Thursday was a big day - we left the hotel at 9am and didn't get back until after 10pm! We slept very well, although were woken up about 6am to a cracking thunderstorm. It was so loud (and the double glazing keeps most noise out really well) that I thought it was multiple explosions happening!
Today was amazing as well. We caught a taxi (also very cheap!!) to where cable cars go across to Sentosa Island so we could get a birds eye view of the place which was good fun. At Sentosa Island we did a nature trail and dragon walk thing. We were in trees and saw some gliders and Nola pointed it out, so we all looked then she yelled in excitement at all of us to look which of course scared it away. I shushed her telling her she scared it away, then we heard rustling and there was another one! So I got my camera all primed, then mum squealed in excitement and scared that one away!!!!! Sheesh... :-) There was quite a few running around, but they moved fast and stayed pretty high. We were going to stay for a while to watch them, then a group of schoolkids came by yelling and screaming so it wasn't worth it.
We walked down to where Underwater World is, had a quick stickybeak, caught a courtesy bus to the Dolphin Lagoon on another part of the island and got off there to see the pink dolphins that reside there. We passed some time until the next show by going to the Southern most point of Asia (got photos!) and had some lunch, then went and staked out what we thought would be the best spot for the show.
It was a good show and they had some otters doing some tricks, then put the dolphins through their paces. They were very very good and obviously enjoyed their "work" and didn't do a thing wrong! They knew every command very well.
The girl running the show asked for a volunteer for something so I through my hand up as did mum and I didn't really know what I was volunteering for, but I figured it would be interesting! I got picked for it (YAY!!! I never get picked for things!!), and I had to hula hoop (with someone else who got chosen) and try to do it for longer than the dolphins who were spinning a hoop on their noses! We both failed dismally....
I thought that might be it, but then I got taken down to the water, and got to pat a dolphin, and feed it some fish and ask it to sing which it did!! I thought that was pretty cool, but then the trainer said I was to join him in the water. I started rolling up my pants further and he said I'd be going in to chest deep. Hmmm. I was fully dressed!!!! I had 3/4 jeans and a white top - jeans dry very slowly and a wet white top is not good on girls... Oh well! So in I went up to close to my neck, where the dolphin came up and gave me a big kiss on the cheek!!!! It was soooooo cool! The dolphins are just gorgeous. Apparently they start out grey and turn pink as they mature, but are pink of pink with grey speckling. Beautiful creatures. I felt like the luckiest person in the world at this stage :-)
The dolphin lagoon entry included underwater world entry, so we figured we might as well go there (luckily mum had some boardshorts with her I could change into!). It was very like any sort of underwater world, but it was still good and I got some great pics of some of the creatures. If you see pictures when I put them up you'll notice I love the mouths of things, especially sting rays!!! :-)
From underwater world we got a cab back to the hotel where we rested for a bit before dinner. Dinner was awesome. It was an international seafood buffet down in the hotel restaurant. In the way of cold food there was sushi, prawns, oysters, crab, mussels, LaH LaH (also known as cockles), raw cuttlefish, salmon sashimi and probably more I've forgotten! In the hot stuff there was lobster cooked in something, sweet and sour fish, seafood kebabs, seafood mixed with steamed vegies, duck, chicken and lots more! It was all just divine, and I think we all had about 4 helpings (the plates were small I swear!!). The price including good French wine was the equivalent of about AUD$25. We're definitely going back there again!
So now it's late Friday night and I'm madly trying to upload photos while we have internet connection in the room!
Plans for the last 4 days include a red lantern tour (last tour in the package), a Night Safari, the zoo, Juronga bird park, Singapore Sling at Raffles, a drink on the 71st (second from the top) floor in the bar of the highest building in Singapore (and 4th highest in the world I think), maybe the chocolate buffet (mmmmmm) at one of the hotels and shopping. I don't really need anything but the shops are fascinating! I saw some beautiful prints on parchment sort of paper I'd like to go back and get but that'd be about it for me I think. I'm not a big shopper!
A few things we've noticed:
- Singapore is very clean - there's always people cleaning buildings and repainting everything to retain the look
- There's no bugs. At all! No mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies or anything. This is quite surprising considering all the food left out uncovered
- While things look quite unhygienic (we try not to think about it...), the food is very good, and we haven't gotten even the slightest problems in the tummy, despite eating at what by Australian standards would be very dodgy!
- The buildings are fascinating. They try to make the buildings unique, so all the skyscrapers, apartment blocks, everything has something different about it. One building I quite like has a section "cut" out of it halfway up where they've grown trees! The buildings are also very colourful. Very different to Brisbane and sydney where everything looks the same.
- Taxi drivers may not accept your fare.... I asked a guy to take us to Sentosa today, and I thought he said sure, and turned to mum and Nola to let them know they could get in and when I turned away he drove off!!!!! We were killing ourselves laughing...
- It's nice to travel with family - I swear I haven't laughed so much in a long time! I think we were all in need of a break, so we're all very relaxed and having just so much fun. Although I do wish Andrew was here to share it with me, that would make this whole adventure perfect.
Will add more as I think of it - this is enough for now :)
Created by Sarah at 6:53 am
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I finished up at work on Friday (taking 12 months leave without pay to start with), and we were in Brisbane all weekend saying goodbye to the family.
The packers and removalists come this morning so we're madly trying to wash and dry the last few things before they arrive, and trying to separate the stuff we're taking on the plane, the air freight and the sea freight.
I got a bike box delivered to me from the removalists, so packed up my bike last Thursday and discovered the bike box is HUGE. For anyone who knows bike box sizes, this box made Mikal's QANTAS bike box look small, and I consider their boxes to be quite big! I didn't get a chance to pick up another bike box on Friday, so need to rush out to the bike shop this morning and try to score a reasonable sized bike box from the Bike Shed. Hopefully they'll have a spare they can give me, my poor bike will just fly everywhere in the current bike box otherwise!
This will probably be my last blog post for a while as we're staying with a friend from tonight, and have no idea when I'll next have computer access - or time to post for that matter!!
Who knows which country my next post will be from! :-)
Created by Sarah at 11:21 am
Saturday, November 05, 2005
We got a camera the other weekend so have been playing around with it taking pics of flowers, pets, and anything that will stay still long enough for me to snap it :)
Today we went for a drive taking local scenery pics so we can show our future American friends where we come from!
The photo below is my favourite pic from today - a good panoramic shot of Lake George (Hint: Click on it to actually be able to see it at a reasonable size). The camera has Panoramic Assist as does the software, so taking panoramic shots and putting them together is very easy!
Here's my other photos from around Canberra.
Created by Sarah at 7:03 pm
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I'm selling my little Laser before we head overseas. I tried selling it earlier this year when it only had a couple of months rego and there wasn't a huge amount of interest. I ended up getting all these annoying people who thought a 23 year old $1500 car should come with power steering, air conditioning and a CD player. Is it not enough that it has low k's and is in good nick????
Now it's got 10 months rego, and I only advertised it on Monday and I have three people who are really keen and all are desperately keen for a car and have sob stories so I don't have the heart to try and "play them off" for the highest figure.
First offer will win I think!
Created by Sarah at 7:48 pm
Monday, October 31, 2005
Well that was an experience.....
Today in the next series of heart scans I had a cardiac MRI. These tests are very new to Canberra and apparently I'm the first patient to have one done. Yay me. Apparently cardiac MRI can detail where problems lay and "sort out" various anomalies of the heart, but because the things it can pick up are generally rare conditions cardiac MRI is not a commonly used tool and usually only available at research hospitals. It's also the most detailed heart scan currently available.
I thought it'd take half an hour or so. I got there and they told me it'd take about an hour. It ended up taking about 2 hours.
2 hours of lying in the MRI tube with the tube bit about 15cm away from my face. When I looked above me all I could see was tube, when I looked down toward my feet all I could see was tube. NOT good if you're claustrophobic. Luckily I'm not, but I initially did freak out a bit at it as I felt very trapped. They had all sorts of things on my chest, and a few straps fairly snug to hold the things so they wouldn't fall off, so the weight on my chest didn't help the feeling.
As well as that, they didn't tell me I'd be getting an injection so I was feeling dehydrated and it was fairly painful getting the cannular in. I hate needles...
So they're not sure if this will tell me anything more definitive, but if nothing else it will be an excellent reference point for any future tests.
Created by Sarah at 5:00 pm
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I managed a nice swim yesterday with Aki at the AIS pool. I’ve pulled out of the swim legs for the triple tri as I’m flying out to America 2 days after the race and think I’m going to be pretty busy that weekend! I’m also constantly exhausted at the moment from either getting run down trying to plan everything, or from a virus and training is the absolute last thing on my mind.
So the swim was great, there was no pressure, we could just paddle around in the pool. I love the AIS pool. It’s always clean, you can usually be assured of your own lane, the water temperature is nice (once you get in!), and you can go and sit in the spa afterwards!
Aki’s fairly new to swimming, so I gave her a few pointers that people have given me over the years, and enjoyed just doing a nice easy swim myself. The spa was good as well – my back’s been a little achy, so I positioned myself so a good strong jet was aimed right where it was feeling sore, and it feels heaps better today!
Getting out of the spa though I realised how tired I was, and got home, had a shower, lay down for “5 minutes”, and finally woke up again 1 1/2 hours later when our neighbours came around for wine and cheese... When they left we still didn’t have the energy to do anything (Andrew’s been a bit knocked around with a bit of a cold) so once again, we failed to get some US Customs paperwork done that we really need to do, didn’t get the washing in before it started raining again, didn’t get to the shops, didn’t manage to get the wet clothes to the Laundromat so we could actually have dry clothes to wear today. Sigh...
I think we have so much to do still, but we don't seem to actually be achieving anything. I'm sure it'll work out in the end :-)
Created by Sarah at 3:18 pm
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Yayyyy!!!! We found a home for our pussy cat! We didn't want to take her to America with us, because it would be stressful for her, and we're not planning on being home much which really isn't fair on her.
So I put a notice around on Monday and I had a phone call today from someone who wanted to come and look at her, and he liked her (who wouldn't, she's a gorgeous cat!) so will come and collect her the weekend after this one. So one last week with her....
The guy lives on his own so was looking for a cat for company, and seemed like a nice guy, so I think it should work out well. She's very sociable, and that's the sort of home I wanted her to go to.
Very soon it's going to kick in that we're going to be giving her away, there's going to be a few tears when we actually hand her over methinks. :-(
Created by Sarah at 12:55 am
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Wow, time is flying by!!
I have an aunt who's living in the Seychelles, and goes to Singapore to do "major" shopping. She was planning on going at the end of November to do christmas shopping for her kids and hubby, so my mum, another aunt and I decided that we'd go and join her to catch up and to see Singapore.
It's all turned out *fairly* nicely - I was worrying for a little while there that America was going to happen too soon and I wasn't going to make Singapore, but now I'm off to Singapore on November 22, and fly from there direct to the US on November 30.
It should be good fun. We've planned some cool things, like the night safari at the Singapore Zoo, shopping, diving with the dugong and sharks at Underwater World, shopping, drinking Singapore Slings at the Long Bar of Raffles Hotel, checking out the temples, seeing the different cultural areas, oh and maybe some shopping... Hopefully a week is enough to see a fair bit of everything!
The only problem is that I can only take 20kg of stuff into Singapore on the plane, so when the packers come on the 14th of November to pack up our house, I'll need to keep with me a weeks clothes for Canberra, a weeks clothes for Singapore (which will be HOT), and then clothes for San Francisco (which will be cold!). I then have to hope all those clothes will weigh under 20kg (my shoes alone will be most of that!) and hope that our air freight has arrived by the time I get to America so I can get the rest of my clothes.
So much to do in 27 days...
Created by Sarah at 4:45 am
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
We haven't been managing to get to bed until 11pm or later lately - we kept getting distracted doing "America" stuff, and frankly I think we're both a bit blase about the whole work thing since we're finishing in a couple of weeks.
As well as that, I moved into a new area last week that's got a lot of really interesting international work going on, but completely under-staffed. So I'm very busy trying to get my head around a whole lot of new things in a short period of time and getting through a whole backlog of work that should have been done weeks ago, but they haven't had the time or resources to do!
This also means I haven't been able to get out for lunchtime walks (weather hasn't helped either), I haven't been riding to work because I'm struggling to get out of bed in time to even drive to work let alone ride! Because I'm getting to work a bit later, I'm staying a bit later and not getting home until about 6, at which point I'm knackered!
So feeling very tired, very unfit, and incredibly lazy, but trying to keep up enough motivation to at least do my job for just 12 more working days!
Created by Sarah at 6:04 pm
Friday, October 21, 2005
Does anyone know anything about this camera? We're looking for a compact digital camera that's fairly sturdy, and this one looks pretty good. 5 megapixel, 3x optical and 4x digital zoom, waterproof down to 1.5m, but reports say they've taken it down to 15m. In any case you can get a diving case as well.
Edit: We went shopping and ended up getting a Nikon Coolpix 5900...
Created by Sarah at 4:43 pm
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
We got our work visas for the US today!!!! WOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Andrew's got a job with Google (yes, THE google!), in Mountain View, California, which is about an hour south of San Francisco. We applied for the brand new E-3 visa that is available for Australians only and we finally got them back today all approved and right to go. The best part about the E-3 visa is that it gives your spouse the right to work as well, which is great for us!!
So I've applied for leave without pay from work, and hope to finish on November 11, and will leave on November 22 for my holiday in Singapore, then will fly from there directly to San Francisco.
The rest of this year is going to be just MAD! :-)
Created by Sarah at 12:45 am
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Apparently someone googled for this and got to my blog. Interesting!
Sitemeter is so cool!! I love how it tells you who's been looking at your blog, how they got there, and if they got there through a search engine, what words they were searching for.
And no I haven't started a new career in pole dancing. Apparently Pole dancing lunchtime Fyshwick came from a variety of posts talking about running around the lake at LUNCHTIME, a friends daughter who does Irish DANCING, and some time I went to FYSHWICK to pick up something.
Ever since Andrew blogged about how crap I looked after getting my wisdom teeth out and linked to my website, which then went to a couple of popular Planet's that get read by lots of people around the world, my blog has gone nuts!!
Quite a few people are getting referred to me through search engines, my blog is now the second major site when you google worldwide for my name and best of all, someone found my Aortic Aneurysm information by googling for "Familial Aortic Aneurysm". Yeehaa!
Created by Sarah at 3:47 am
Monday, October 17, 2005
I had to go to the GP today, so I asked her to check out all the stitches and everything while I was there to make sure everything was all good, and yes, it all looks good – yay! She did say that I have an ulcer on the swollen side near where the stitches are, and she said I’d probably already felt that. Nope?? Oh well, whatever!
She also said that the lump in my cheek is just a hematoma (ie. a bruise/pooling of blood) and it’ll go away. Similar to say… when someone throws a hard ball and scones you in the leg, and you’re left with a lumpy bruise.
Anyone got any idea how to make it go faster? When I try to open my mouth further, it hurts where the lump is, so I assume that’s partially what’s stopping my mouth opening further (as well as general stiffness).
Anyone know any way of helping this break down??? It’s making doing normal things like talking, yawning, brushing my teeth and eating quite difficult/painful!
Created by Sarah at 10:56 pm
The bunny is NOT cute. The little shit peed on the couch. Then he knew he'd done something wrong obviously because I wanted him back i nthe cage and he kept running away from me.
When I finally got him he scratched the crap out of my arms with his back legs! Grrr!
Created by Sarah at 4:58 am
We're bunny sitting this week for our friends, and it's funny watching Jaffa (the rabbit) and LC (the cat) together! The cat is generally more worried about the rabbit than the rabbit is of the cat! Last night though the cat was in a playful mood and decided to stalk the bunny a few times. Generally she "pounces" on Jaffa, and stops short of pouncing on him and just licks his head a couple of times. Last night though, Jaffa hopped away once, and LC thought "hey he's playing!" and chased after him, and Jaffa freaked out and raced back to his cage!
I'm pretty sure LC was just playing and would never hurt him as she has never shown any form of aggression towards him ever, but I keep an eye on them anyway just in case!
Pics below are of Jaffa, and of Jaffa and LC chowing down together. Very cute!
Created by Sarah at 1:22 am
Went back to work today and felt fine. It hurts to laugh as my right cheek is still bruised and has a hard tender lump right where the bruising is. Incidentally, I've been trying to brush my teeth (still can't quite open my mouth wide enough to get a toothbrush to the back teeth) and using a torch to have a look at how things are going and check where the stitches and things are so I know where to avoid.
I discovered that there's stitches on the inside of my cheek right where the main part of the hardness is, kind of next to the tooth second from the back at the top. I have no idea why there's stitches there - surely there'd be no wisdom teeth anywhere near there!! I wonder if they've managed to gouge part of my cheek out, and that's where they've repaired it? It would certainly explain the pain, tenderness, bruising and the lump. It's also not on the other side, despite the top wisdom teeth being in similar positions.
I don't really care if they have managed to gouge a hole into me, I understand that pulling teeth can be a bit brutal, but it'd be nice if they'd told me the stitches were there!
I really don't want to be brushing the back teeth on the outside surface in case I knock the stitches.
Anyway, so things are going fine and I don't seem to have any dry sockets, haven't opened any wounds, don't seem to have infections from getting food stuck in the holes or anything bad like that. I've been very careful with initially rinsing regularly with salt water to help the healing, and now rinsing constantly with Listerine to keep my mouth clean as well as brushing what teeth I can. Fingers crossed it keeps going well! My follow up appointment is next Monday so I should know more then.
Created by Sarah at 12:52 am
Saturday, October 15, 2005
NOW I find some great post operative instructions for wisdom teeth removal!!!
For anyone else who gets it done, read these wisdom teeth post operative instructions! These are really comprehensive and had a lot more information than what my surgeon gave me! Heaps more tips and answers most of the questions that I had while I was recovering that I thought were too silly to ask the surgeon about.
Created by Sarah at 2:42 am
Friday, October 14, 2005
Slowly getting there. I can lift the corners of my mouth into a lame smile, and my cheeks aren't as puffy. It still throbs a bit, and my eye is still getting puffier for some strange reason and looks more bruised as you can see from the photo below.
I still can't really open my mouth, but I'm feeling much better today than I have all week energy wise which is good!
I just have to make sure I keep on taking it easy and icing all day still and not do anything stupid!.
And here's all the photos for the whole wisdom teeth extraction recovery
Created by Sarah at 6:43 pm
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Well, 2 days later and I'm not feeling any better. Much worse in fact. My face is really swollen to the point that I can barely fit a teaspoon into my mouth to eat. It's a struggle to get a toothbrush into my mouth to brush my teeth. I still feel nauseous, probably from all the drugs I'm taking (a nice mixture of Nurofen, Panadeine Forte and Amoxil).
My face is just aching at the moment and has been most of the day and no amount of ice, cold face washers or drugs is helping.
We were quite worried this morning as my eye was getting swollen and they'd said it wasn't good if that happened. The doc had a look in my mouth and said it was all good, and hopefully the swelling should start going down tomorrow.
I bloody hope so, I can't stand this for much longer.
Me this morning:
Created by Sarah at 3:12 pm
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Well the local anaesthetic wore off and things are a little more painful now. The right side of my face has also puffed up a fair bit too!!
Here's some before and after photos (before photo is after my wedding hair and makeup trial so it's a little glammed up, but it's a similar pose).
Created by Sarah at 12:01 am
Monday, October 10, 2005
It all went pretty fast. They wheeled me in, put the IV thingy and started pumping drugs in straight away. I had the IV sedation stuff where you're just mostly asleep for it.
I remember them putting the local anaesthetic into my mouth which wasn't particularly comfortable and I have a pretty vague recollection of them actually pulling the teeth out and counting the 4 teeth, then the next thing I remember I was waking up in a different room.
It was definitely a lot better than general anaesthetic. I felt just a bit groggy when I woke up, but not nauseous at all. There wasn't much oozing from where they took the teeth, but I have a face full of gauze just in case, which I'll take out soon. I'll also start the drugs soon. Hopefully it will all be good!
Now what to do with the rest of the day....
Created by Sarah at 6:19 pm
Sunday, October 09, 2005
This week should be very quiet - I'm getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. I have to get them all out because the bottom 2 are impacted, and the top 2 are a lot bigger than the space they have to come through.
So I've got the whole week off, and have got heaps of DVDs out for the week, so will have a very quiet week of lying around in front of the telly. I've just done the shopping so have stocked up on jelly, fish fillets, creamed rice, soup and other yummy easy to swallow whole foods.
Created by Sarah at 6:32 pm
We left Canberra early on Friday morning to drive to Sydney for our appointment with the US Consulate to apply for our work visas which we didn't yet get due to a glitch in paperwork, hopefully it'll be sorted very soon).
We stayed in Sydney Friday night at my aunts, woke up Saturday morning to hear the wind blowing an absolute gale, then after trying to get back to sleep, I heard a big cracking sound, and turned around in bed to see a big flash of light. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window and a half a tree had been blown over into the power lines. So that was the end of the sleeping. It was about 6:45am and we had no power, so couldn't do anything important like have a decent shower, have a cup of tea, toast or anything like that which was a bit of a pain.
It was an interesting morning though talking to all the neighbours and sharing stories and so on. One of the guys had moved his car from right where the tree fell 10 minutes before that because he didn't feel it was safe there - very lucky!!!
We finally left mid-morning and drove to Newcastle where we caught up with other friends, which was nice. We stayed with them for the night, then on Sunday morning we drove to Woollongong to catch up with other friends who recently moved there. They're not in Woollongong itself, but a bit north right near the beach in an absolutely gorgeous house with beautiful views of the ocean!
We stayed with them for a couple of hours, then finally got back to Canberra about 6pm last night.
Poor Andrew pulled a muscle in his neck (or something similar) on Friday night - probably due to my aunts sofa bed which isn't the comfortable bed in the world, and he couldn't turn his head to the left, so I did all of the driving from then on.
It was blowing a gale everywhere in NSW it seemed and it was a struggle just to keep the car on the road in some places and we kept getting blown around, so I had to really concentrate the entire drive on both Saturday and Sunday so that certainly made life interesting!
I was absolutely exhausted by the time we finally got home!!
Created by Sarah at 6:10 pm
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I had a nice swim at the AIS last night. It was nice and quiet, and by the end there was only 2 of us using the entire pool!
It's great to do laps and not have to worry about overtaking people, or have people tapping your feet. You can just put your head down and swim.
So I was just planning to swim for 45 minutes. I thought I'd do a 1500m swim just to see how it went then do some drills or something.
At about 800m I was thinking maybe I'd have a drink break at the 1000m mark, then do another 1000m and stop then. But when I got to 1000m I checked my watch and realised I'd done 1100m and I was feeling really good, so I figured I may as well keep going to the 1500m mark.
When I got close to 1500, I stopped for 5 seconds or so for a drink of water, then just kept going, and as I got closer to the 2000m mark, I figured I'd just keep on going!
It was getting close to 8pm and Andrew was cooking dinner and I said I'd be home by 8pm, so I just swam through to the 2500m, and jumped out of the pool and raced home so I woudn't be too late for dinner.
I was getting tired toward the end of the 2500m, but I didn't seem to get tired until I'd decided I would definitely stop at 2500m. It's just a mental thing - while I was just seeing how far I could get I felt great, but as soon as I decided I would stop soon, my stroke got short and choppy, I wasn't kicking as well, and I was hanging out for it to finish.
So next time I want to do 3500m continuous so I have that confidence for my triple tri swim which is now only 6 1/2 weeks away!
Created by Sarah at 4:58 pm
We had a fun weekend – I love long weekends :-) Friday night we went to the circus, well it wasn’t so much circusy... There was heaps of acrobatics, and multi person juggling, and unicycles and cool stuff like that, but no clowns or elephants or that sort of stuff! A friend was performing in it and she was really good!
Saturday we pottered about getting things we’d been putting off for while and went to a dog show that was down the road from us. We’re more cat people than dog people, but there was plenty of noise happening so we thought we’d check it out. It was HUGE and there was sooo many dogs! There was a category that we saw for 3-6 month old Chihuahua puppies, and while I don’t like Chihuahua’s, the little puppies were soooo cute! We also chatted to an owner of a gorgeous Great Dane – now THAT’S a dog!
Anyway, on Sunday Andrew went climbing Mt Tennant in the Namadgi National Park with a friend, so I went and walked the 10k Mt Ainslie loop. It was a beautiful warm day with a bit of a breeze and I had my iPod just loud enough to hear, but not so loud so it drowned out the sounds of the birds chirping – it was lovely!
My heart rate was higher than I expected given that I was walking, and averaged 137 for the 10k. From the carpark at the end of Phillip Ave, I find if you go left and tackle the steep uphill first the rest isn’t too bad, there’s more downhill then uphill from there and the last half is nice and flat, but if you turn right, the first half is flat, and when you’re getting tired, the last half has a lot more hills, is more uphill than downhill and the last long hill is loooong! I turned right as I didn’t want an easy walk, and my HR got up to 166 on that last hill and I couldn’t go much slower!
Anyway, so I did it in 1:40 (exactly!), and it was a good enjoyable workout which was nice. I was hanging out for some fruit towards the end, and the more I thought about it, so I went home via Woolies and got some watermelon, pineapple, pears, apples, strawberries, kiwi fruit and oranges as well as some natural yoghurt and made myself a huge fruit salad that was soooo tasty! Andrew finally got home about 6 hours after he left feeling very stuffed, so what was left of Sunday was pretty quiet!
Monday we went to Tumut 3 power station (about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Canberra) which is part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme – the largest power station in the scheme. We did a tour of the station and also drove around all the bits accessible to the public – the dam itself, the pipes and other techo stuff that I can’t remember... It was cool though, apparently the Snowy Hydro is one of the 7 modern engineering wonders of the world or something. The way the whole thing works is very impressive! The day would have been much better if we didn’t spend a long time on the way back (on a “short cut”) driving on a dirt road... I HATE driving on dirt roads, especially when it’s fairly narrow and windy, and when you look over one side and there’s a couple of hundred metre drop!!! Scared the crap out of me! Poor Andrew had to deal with me squealing every time I thought we got a bit too close to anything remotely scary (including driving over what turned out to be a twig...), and by the time we got home I was so worked up from fear (yeah so I’m the biggest wimp in the world) I had to go lie on the bed for half an hour while I calmed down! My imagination is just way too active for that kind of thing!!
Created by Sarah at 12:28 am
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
My life is just one big injury/problem area. If it’s not my knee, it’s my heart. If it’s not my heart, it’s my back. If it’s not my back it’s my teeth! And now it’s my knee again!!!!
I have no idea what happened but my left knee (the one that was operated on 18 months ago) has been a bit sore this week. Then yesterday it started having sharp stabbing pains through it, on the inside of my knee right where one of the arthroscopy scars is. It got worse throughout the day and last night is was causing quite a bit of pain. I even dreamt about my knee pain would you believe…
Today every 5 minutes or so, I would get this sharp throbbing pain in my knee that would last for a few seconds and go away. Apparently from the look on my face it was obvious when I was getting the pains!
I don’t get it while I’m walking though, it’s really only while I’m sitting down, and given that I sit down at my job, by about 10:30am I was very much over it and booked myself in for the physio at 2pm.
The physio said that my left VMO was a whole lot weaker than the right one. She was impressed with the right one, and apparently it stood out, but she couldn’t even see the left one. My ITB’s were quite loose, which she was also impressed with and surprised about. She was thinking that my ITB’s were tight which was causing patello femoral syndrome. She thought that given that I’m just getting back into training that it was just tight, but that theory got blown out of the water.
So there’s not much strength in my left VMO, my glutes are really weak (which is also what I was getting told after my knee op), and my knee was sore when she was massaging over the main scar from my scope. So her theories were along the lines of (a) that either when I was jogging last week or walking on the weekend I may have just pulled something that was tight from scar tissue around that scar, (b) because the VMO and glutes are weak, getting back into training is just going to be hard on that leg while it’s weak, and I might have just aggravated something in my leg which connects to my knee or (c) I’ve twisted my knee somehow and just done some minor damage to a muscle or something either in that area, or elsewhere that’s referring pain to that area.
I also remembered that after my job last week my quads and hammies were feeling quite tight, so maybe that had something to do with it.
So she’s given me some exercises to strengthen my glutes and VMO, told me to massage over where the scar is a couple of times a day, and to make sure I keep my leg fairly straight, especially in bed, because I’m a side sleeper, and your knee can twist a bit in bed if you lie on your side, and you can put pressure on it the wrong way while you’re sleeping.
The pain was a bit better this arvo, less often and not as painful, so hopefully with a couple of little exercises it’ll be fine.
Created by Sarah at 12:19 am
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Sorry, this is more so I don't lose it. A friend gave it to me and said it's really good :-)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 cups cocoa pops
300g Cadbury dairy milk chocolate
1/4 cup granulated roasted nuts (optional)
90g milk melts
Beat butter & condensed milk until creamy, stir in the melted milk melts and granulated nuts, then place bowl in freezer until set. (more than 2 hours)
Roll mixture into balls (about the size of 10 cent coin) and roll in cocoa pops until covered. Place on baking tray (tray to be covered with grease proof paper) then put back into fridge while you melt the Cadburys chocolate and copha together.
Remove balls from fridge and dip one at a time into melted chocolate and copha. Allow excess chocolate to drain off before placing back on covered tray.
Leave in fridge until set. (overnight is probably good)
Created by Sarah at 6:47 pm
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I met up with Aki yesterday to do a walk around Lake Ginninderra. We were going to swim afterwards, but my head cold certainly wasn't any better, and I think I have an ear infection, so I decided a swim was a bad idea.
But we did the 7k loop of the lake plus a little bit extra - we were going to go out along another path, but my ear was beginning to get quite painful as the drugs were wearing off, so we turned back after a couple of hundred metres.
We kept a pretty easy pave and my heart rate stayed at about 90 or so. I was tempted to walk faster because my heart rate was quite low, but I really have to change my attitude.
The doc says I shouldn't get my heart rate over 140, so my competitive nature makes that "keep your heart rate at just under 140 the entire time you train". I want to keep pushing the limits, but I have to just try to keep in my mind that I will never be able to get back to where I was, and I am getting back into it to get some fitness back and keep myself healthy, not to try and constantly push myself to my limits to prove that I can...
So hopefully we'll go again next weekend, and I'll try to make weekend walks a regular thing, if not with the lovely Aki (who's regular pace is a lot faster than mine!), then with anyone who'll go with me :-)
Created by Sarah at 8:58 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2005
There was another tragic cycling accident this morning in Sydney with one cyclist dead, and another with "inknown injuries".
The way the Sydney Morning Herald has reported it is "Cycling accident causes M4 delays". WHAT THE????
Like the most important thing in that story was that the roads were slow for a while rather than a cyclist got killed. How freaking ridiculous. Like those pesky cyclists are always getting themselves killed and causing traffic delays.
SMH - think about the human side of the story, and the terrible loss that the cyclists family is feeling, rather than the precious traffic situation. Write a REAL story next time!
Created by Sarah at 12:28 am
Friday, September 23, 2005
I've been fighting off a head cold all week. As soon as I lie down to go to bed I start coughing, and my the morning when I wake up I've had blocked up yucko sinuses, earache, sore throat and this cough. By the time I've showered, the sinuses are feeling better, the cough has subsided, and I'm just left a bit of an earache and sore throat.
My voice started getting croaky yesterday, and today I'm coughing (not too bad still, but annoying enough), have a sore throat, the earache is quite painful, the sinuses are hurting and my voice is very croaky. I feel fine otherwise. I could do with a nap, but that's about it :-)
I went to the chemist to get something to help the sinuses and earache, and he was about to give me stuff that he reckoned was the bees knees for sinusitis, when he asked if I was on blood pressure medication. D'oh!!!! Because most sinusy medication has pseudoephedrine which gets your heart rate up, it doesn't go too well with my Noten which is supposed to be lowering heart rate/blood pressure. So all I get is some nasal spray and some yucky medicine for my cough. Great...
Good to know to watch out for medication containing pseudoephedrine though!
I'm supposed to be going for a walk/swim tomorrow with Aki, so hopefully it doesn't get worse. If it stays just as it is I should be fine. We've also got to do a pre-inspection clean tomorrow, and I think Andrew would kill me if I was sick for that :-)
Created by Sarah at 10:58 pm
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Woohoo! I went out at lunch with the aim to just go for a nice walk as it was a very pleasant 20 degrees. I had my iPod, so I was set.
Once I got out there, I couldn't get my fast walking heart rate over 100 bpm, so I decided to jog a bit. My easy jogging HR stayed in the low-mid 130's which was exciting, so I kept at it. I was jogging up the short side of the lake between the Kings Ave-Commonwealth Ave Bridges, so I thought I'd just jog to C'wealth Bridge, then jog back to work. At C'wealth, my heart was staying at the mid 130's still, and I was still feeling good, so I decided to do the longer side on the other side of the lake from C'wealth-Kings Ave Bridges. I walked the Bridges themselves as the incline always gets my heart rate going, but jogged the rest of the flat bits without stopping! I did stop for 5 minutes to say hello to Michael Still who had gone for a lunchtime ride, but that was it.
Average HR was 128, my max. was 146, I travelled about 5k, probably jogged a little over 4k of it, and took about 48 minutes (excluding talking time).
Created by Sarah at 10:08 pm
Squad last night had a fair few drills, so we didn't do as much distance wise as Monday night, and once again I was a bit late so missed the first bit.
Wednesday nights are a bit slower, and we were sitting around a bit waiting for people which makes things a bit easier, but there was 3 of us taking turns at leading the lane, so that was good for me to make sure I was swimming consistently at a good pace so as not to slow others down. Great to lead the lane!
Ave Hr - 122, max - 151 (oops...)
Created by Sarah at 2:44 pm
I got home from swimming and the cat came sat on my lap and proceeded to start growling and attack me! She's normally very sweet natured and it was very bizarre.
I ended up throwing her off my lap because well... she didn't seem to realise that if she had a problem with me that she could just leave!
Then she came back and sat on my lap again, purred for a bit then attacked me again!!! She went pretty nuts as well. I'm wondering if she doesn't like the smell of chlorine... I've just got back from the pool and reek of it.
I can't think of any other reason why she would come and sit on my lap then decide to attack me!!!!
Created by Sarah at 4:15 am
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I’ve discovered that there’s not much information readily available on the internet regarding Familial Aortic Aneurysms and Thoracic Aortic Dissections (which is the genetic condition my dad and aunt died from and what I am at risk of).
So last night I made up a webpage of the research I’ve done on aneurysms and dissections which can be found at http://sarah.pollock.id.au/heart. It’ll be a work in progress so if anyone has any websites, newspaper articles, magazine reports or anything useful please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add it to the website.
The aim is to have a central page that people who are in a similar situation can find through Google and discover lots of useful information.
With a condition such as aortic aneurysm, which has a high mortality rate of people who actually have a dissection, information is the key. If you do not know you are at risk, it is unlikely you will get the scans you need to be able to detect it. A large amount of aneurysms are found by accident when other tests are being done. I would have never gone to the cardiologist if I hadn’t have gotten chest pains, despite my dad and aunt’s deaths. I thought I just had to get an ECG which as I discovered is completely different to an echocardiogram!
I’m sure when there’s two sudden deaths like in our family, most people would prefer not to talk about it as it is a painful thing to talk about. Unfortunately as it is a genetic condition, it HAS to be talked about and people need to be aware of the consequences. Even those young and fit are at as much a risk as those older and less fit.
Created by Sarah at 8:13 pm
Monday, September 19, 2005
I've signed up for a 4 person girls team for the annual Sri Chinmoy Triple Triathlon, and I'll be doing the long swim leg and the short swim leg. The long swim is a 3.5k swim from Grevillea Park Beach (near the Boathouse Restaurant) to Acton Ferry Terminal in Lake Burley Griffin, and the short swim is just 1.2k in Lake Tuggeranong from Tuggeranong Town Park out to the left a bit, then turning around to swim back towards the Town Centre, getting out near KFC.
The long swim is a bit scary, but with a wetsuit and hopefully someone to paddle a kayak next to me to keep me on course I should be fine! I'm actually looking forward to it in a "glutton for punishment" kind of a way :)
So I went to swim squad last night, and missed out on the start, but got in a good 2.7k and felt pretty crap when I started and was at the back of the lane, but got stronger as I went along, and ended up overtaking about 5 or 6 people to be in the middle on the lane for the rest of the session, which is always good for the confidence!
We did a few 400m sets, which felt really comfortable, and I even felt as though I could have kept on going (but I didn't as it was already 8pm). My HR averaged 127 and my max was 147.
I'll swim again at squad tomorrow night, and aim to do a long continuous swim Friday night after work.
Created by Sarah at 9:10 pm
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Didn't get up to much exercise-wise this weekend. I was hoping to do a swim, but didn't get a chance! Yesterday we got up, put the washing on, went and had breakfast at the cafe down the road, went to a computer fair to get some bits and pieces for the computer, then went babysitting for a friend from work. We got there at about 11:30am and didn't get home until 6pm-ish so it was a pretty big day! The kids were great. There's a 5 and 8 year old girl and a 20 month old boy and they're all very cute and well behaved which makes baby sitting easy!
They were really good, we cooked, watched a DVD, read some books, watched the girls do their Irish Dancing. The older girl is competing at the Australian Champs next weekend, so she's pretty talented and great to watch! As it had started raining by then and was very cold outside, we went and played at kid's rampage, which is a kid's indoor playground which was great for all the kids! We also got 2 bottles of wine as thanks which was nice! I'd offered to babysit so they could have time to themselves, so we didn't expect anything at all.
I've been unwell for a couple of days and took half of Thursday and Friday off, so we had restful morning and lay in bed for a while. We also did some shopping at a few different places, sorted out a few things at home and before we knew it, it was 5:30pm!
I'd planned to go for a swim, but didn't have time. I didn't get to swim during the week either. I was feeling a little off all week, and by Wednesday I was beginning to feel really listless and definitely not in the mood for swimming!
Hope to go for a couple of swims this week though and ride in a couple of times. We'll see how it goes :-)
Created by Sarah at 1:31 am
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I got a Corporate scarf today to wear if I so choose to. It's quite nice - it's got browns and blues through it with aboriginal style animals on it and has Quarantine written across it.
Problem is that I have no idea how to wear it. I rarely wear girly clothes. I've certainly never been a scarf person - I think they look a little airline hostess-y but I have a shirt that matches it, so I'll give it a go. Hopefully Google can save me and tell me how to wear it.... :)
Created by Sarah at 4:03 am
Monday, September 12, 2005
We had a removalist coming out this morning to assess our stuff for being shipped to the States. They were due at 9:30am. I rang up at 8:30am to confirm this. I'd gone in to work early, so I could leave at 9:15am and be back by 10:30am or so.
The guy still hadn't arrived by 10am, so I called up and the girl who answered the phone said "Oh he's right here, I'll check with him what happened". WTF??? Why is he there???? Then she comes back and says that he forgot he had a 9:30 appointment (even though I rang earlier to confirm, and asked them to let the guy know that if I wasn't there at 9:30, I wouldn't be far away). She said that he's on his way and he'd be here within the hour. Has Fyshwick suddenly become a suburb of Cooma??? Why will it take an hour if he's on his way??? She promised me she'd get him moving and he might be able to get here within 30 minutes. So it's now 10:40 and he still isn't here.
So there's about 2 1/2 hours wasted out of my day.
While I was waiting I also called up to see where my passport is, as I got an email last Monday saying it was processed and I should receive it within 4-5 working days. Today is the 6th working day, so I thought it was worth checking. Passport office said it had definitely been sent and gave me the Australia Post tracking number for it. So I called them and they said it definitely arrived at the local post office and I should have received a card in our mailbox telling me I can go pick it up. I didn't. So once I discovered I had at least 30 minutes to kill, I popped down to the post office (about a 2 minute drive down the road). Apparently they received it last Tuesday. They've been having troubles with the local postie and he FORGOT to leave a notification card in our box when he couldn't get someone to sign for it.
What is it with people providing a service FORGETTING to do vital parts of their job??? I mean Kent removalists forgot to turn up, and the postie forgot to let us know we had mail.
Grrrrr. 10:46 and still no removalist.
Update: He finally turned up a little after 11, and I finally got back to work just before 12. Someone then asked me where I'd been all morning. Poor bugger copped my full rant....
Update 2: The guy from the removalists was a salesperson kinda guy in full suit and tie. He wasn't a low paid disgruntled employee who doesn't give a stuff. He was well dressed, well spoken and had a nice car. No excuse for someone like that to be so disorganised!
Created by Sarah at 5:35 pm
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Ride to work in the morning!! I was so proud of myself for finally getting back on the bike and riding to work. Now it's raining, it's cold outside, I'm tired and have no motivation to ride.
Update: It actually wasn't a bad ride home, it wasn't too wet and I just left a bit early and took it easy and got home before it was dark. It's kinda good not having Andrew able to easily pick me up, made sure I HAD to ride home :-)
Created by Sarah at 10:04 pm
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday I just got out for 40 minutes during lunch, but it was nice to get out!
Today I did the 5k bridge to bridge, and it was a lovely sunny 21 degrees, with a slight breeze blowing - beautiful! I wore my heart rate monitor today, so walked the first half, then in the last half I did a few short jogs. The first jog my HR shot up to 150 or so, and I kept slowing down to try and drop the HR, but I ended up going back to a fast walk.
I did that a few more times and by the last jog, my HR was sitting around 135, so that was good! I think next time I'll keep alternating and just walk to lower the HR when it gets too high.
I might even be able to jog 5k one of these days :-)
Created by Sarah at 8:27 pm
Monday, September 05, 2005
See what happens when I don't train!! I end up getting hooked on Idol... sheesh. :-)
Anyway, I'm really pleased Emily Williams got through!! She's got an awesome voice, and I've liked her from the start. Especially being an "Inala girl" she probably hasn't had as much of an opportunity as a lot of the others when it comes to singing lessons and that sort of help. I think she could go a long way, especially internationally.
You go girl!
Created by Sarah at 3:09 am