Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dammit, I got tagged! :-)

4 jobs I have had: bar wench, basketball coach at summer camp, fruit picker, car salesperson (how varied can you get?)

4 movies I could watch over and over: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Princess Bride, Wallace and Gromit, Lord of the Rings

4 places I have lived: Brisbane, London, Edinburgh, Mountain View (California)

4 TV shows I love to watch:
Family Guy, Simpsons, American Dad, Sex and the City (only intellectual shows...)

4 places I have been on vacation:
Lady Elliot Island, Noosa, Sydney, Singapore (man, that was hard - I need to go on holiday more often apparently!)

4 websites I visit each day: Transitions, The Australian, Google Reader, Google

4 favorite foods: Any good Indian food, roast with yorkshire puddings, fresh seafood, chocolate (mmmmm I'm hungry now!)

4 places I would rather be right now: in Miriam Vale (Qld) cuddling my nephew, lying on a beach in Hawaii, in France about to watch le Tour, sitting at that great sidewalk place in Singapore eating fantastic Indian watching the world go by

4 favorite bands: Don't have favourite bands, just lots of songs that I really like

4 people I am tagging: The lovely Shona, the happily preggers Terah, the super-speedy Aki, and the bestest cousin, Kylie

PS - you guys have to put this in your blog/diary with your answers (obviously...), then tag 4 more people :)

The joys of having a "kitten"

Our little Stumpy was a bit of a pain last night... I was out pretty much all day yesterday, so she didn't get much play time, so decided she'd play all night!

She's generally been really good at night - just sleeps at our feet and doesn't disturb us. One of her favourite games though has been pouncing on our wiggling toes under the sheet in bed. She has a ball chasing after our feet, but lately has discovered if she wants to play that game and we don't, all she needs to do is pounce on our feet anyway and stick her teeth and claws in, and the feet move anyway!

I don't know how many times I woke up last night squealing in pain because she was sinking her claws into my feet and legs! The vet thinks she could be as young as 8 or 9 months still, so I can't blame her.

She's a kitten at heart and in her mind, but her body is still recovering from the car accident, so we can't go nuts playing with her and wearing her out which is a shame. She loves to play, and will play on her own, and if we're playing with her, she'll play until we stop, and we stop pretty early as she looks as though her pelvis is aching/hurting if she plays too long. After a long play session, she sits with her right leg splayed out a fair bit, so we try not to play so hard or for too long that it gets to that point!

I'm spending plenty of time playing with her today, that's for sure! If she doesn't sleep tonight, she'll be banished from the bedroom!

Friday, June 23, 2006

How ironic

I can't get work as an Administrative Assistant at Google because I don't have a degree (yes, this is required), but Andrew can work in a tech role without a degree. Sheesh!

In 6 years time when I get my Bachelor of Business (while working full time in a preferably project management related, but probably admin role at this rate), I might be good enough to be an Admin Assistant at Google. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer weather has arrived

And it's 33 degrees just in the bedroom at 5:40pm. Luckily it's a few degrees cooler downstairs. I might sleep down there tonight!

In other news, here's another Stumpy photo - awwwww.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Two big events!

First of all, I got accepted into a Bachelor of Business through the University of Southern Queensland, so I'll be studying externally, part time for the next 6 years! After nearly 10 years out of school (man, I suddenly feel old...) I've finally found something I'm good at, and a degree that will help me go further, so we'll see how it goes!

The second thing is that we adopted Genevieve - the injured kitty we were fostering. She just has the most wonderful personality of a cat, so incredibly sweet and loving while not being overbearing, and she settled into our home and lives so easily while we were fostering her, that I couldn't bear to give her back. I've realised I really miss having a regular cat in my life, so to have a cat we've been able to choose is really nice. Andrew didn't really want a cat, but lucky he's the most wonderful person in the world and let me keep this little girl.

So it'll be nice to have a purring fuzzball on my lap while I'm studying, and keeping me calm when I get stressed with it all!

So here she is - our new baby :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lovely Spring arvo

We rode our bikes into the park near the local library this afternoon and met our friend Tanya and Dan, and Louise and Sean. Andrew and I read for a bit while we waited for the others, then played Cleudo (called Clue over here...) which I haven't played since I was a kid! I forgot how fun it is :) I also forgot half the rules and the strategy, but that's ok!

After that we played frisbee for a while, then had a late lunch at a local sandwich place, then rode home.

It was great way to spend a Spring afternoon.

Poor Stumpy

We took her back to the shelter yesterday to get her a shot to fix her tapeworms that she seems to have. I put her on the ground so she could walk around to show the vet tech how well she's walking now. He watched her for a minute and said "uh-oh, I think she's pregnant". She has a little round belly, which is most noticeable when you hold her up around her front legs and let her back legs dangle down.

Her nipples are poking out which I can't believe I didn't notice before. I guess the last cat we had was Cleo who was nursing and had huge nipples, so we were kinda used to that.

So she must have gotten pregnant just before she had her accident, since she's been at the shelter almost a month, and cats have 60 day pregnancies. Any further along and I guess she would have lost the babies when she got hit by the car.

Because having babies would be too dangerous for her given her injuries, I have to take her back to the shelter tomorrow to get spayed and the pregnancy taken care of. I guess they'll decide then whether she's recovered enough to go up for adoption or whether they want us to keep her for longer. Poor little girl!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Very observant we are

Stumpy (aka Genevieve) was behind the couch tonight, so I poked my hear around the couch to see what she was up to, and lo and behold there was a painting behind there. Command Adhesive hooks just don't work in this country, and at some point, this hook obviously failed, and fell down behind the couch. Funny we never noticed it was missing! We even thought that wall looked bare and so put another picture up there. No idea how long it's been behind the couch for!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What broken pelvis??

I carried Genevieve downstairs tonight so she could hang with me while I was watching tv, and she just raced around everywhere exploring then went tearing up and down the stairs. After that she managed to jump onto the couch and back off again before I could stop her!

Cats really are resilient. She seems happy to be running around and doesn't seem in pain, so I'll just have to make sure she only runs around for short periods then confine her to rest again.

She's currently decided she loves Andrew and is following him around like a shadow! She's running under his feet as he's walking just waiting for him to stop so she can get pats while purring non-stop.

Monday, June 05, 2006

New foster kitty

We have another foster kitty for a couple of weeks. Her name is Genevieve and the poor thing was hit by a car and found injured at a nearby school. She suffered a broken pelvis and a damaged tail that has since been amputated.

The broken pelvis isn't TOO bad. It's not good, but it wasn't completely smashed, more fractured, with I think one small broken bit and it's ok enough that she can walk, albeit gingerly. So we'll keep her for probably 2-3 weeks while she recovers more. She'll pretty much be confined to our spare room so she doesn't move around too much, but she'll get more room to at least be able to stretch out and relax than at the shelter. She'll also get lots of people love which the poor little thing needs!

Oh, and the stitches in her tail are purple and look very cute :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kirkland, Part 2

Now where was I up to... Monday in Kirkland after arriving, we did the harbour tour. Tuesday I had an easy morning. I think I must be up to Tuesday night!

Tuesday evening we went along to the Space Needle which is a tall structure built for the 1962 Seattle World Fair. It has an observation deck at the top as well as a revolving restaurant. So we had dinner at the restaurant, and the food and view were just lovely! We both had half a chook (it was huge!) stuffed with garlic and served with garlic mashed potatoes, spinach and wild boar bacon, and just so good. I took what I couldn't eat home and had it for lunch the next day :) Because we had dinner at 7:30, the sun was just beginning to go down, and by 8:30/9pm we were watching a beautiful sunset as we were finishing our drinks.

After dinner we went up to the observation deck where the sun was truly setting, and looked over the city including the snow covered Mt Rainier.

Wednesday I went into Seattle and to the Pike Place Markets. Apparently in 1907 Seattlites got sick of paying middlemen a fortune for produce, so a small market was set up where local producers could sell directly to the public. It was so popular, the farmers had sold out of everything within a couple of hours. It has since grown, and is quite large, open every day and has a range of fresh fruit and veg, fresh seafood, flowers, art and crafts as well as entertainers singing and dancing for some spare change.

I also had lunch at a random seafood place where a scene from Sleepless in Seattle was apparently filmed. I have yet to rewatch the movie and try to pick the scene.

After that I went to the local IMAX movie theatre, and watched Deep Sea 3D, which was about the ocean. And in 3D. Who woulda thunk it? It was pretty cool, and the scenery was pretty breathtaking.

From there I went down to the local Kirkland downtown markets, which was like the Pike Place Markets, only a lot smaller. Lots of locally produced jams, jellies, baked goods and the like.

Thursday I was looking through my guide book and I noticed that the Burke Museum was free on the first Thursday of the month, and lo and behold, it was the first Thursday of the month. So I toddled along to check that out. The Burke Museum is at Washington University and is a Museum of Natural History and Culture. It has dinosaurs, and the history of them in the Washington area, bones that have been found and so on, how the state of Washington has changed over the past few ages in time due to ice ages and the like. It also had a lot about seventeen Pacific Rim cultures including local Indians, Samoans, Maoris and others I can't remember.

It wasn't a big museum, and it didn't take long to explore the whole thing, so I was pleased I only had to pay for parking...

After that I went out to check out a local winery, and discovered I'd just missed a tour, and the next one was nearly an hour away. So I was going to go home, and figured it was a waste of time to just go home after going all the way out there (the 30 minute drive took me an hour thanks to traffic), so saw Columbia Winery across the road and decided to pop in there. I asked them about tours, and the lady said she'd get someone to cover the wine tasting area and take me for a tour straight away. There was a couple nearby, so she asked if they'd like a tour as well, and the three of us got a personalised tour of the winery. She took us all around the production area and explained the whole process, and was happy to show us everything, was really friendly and very informative. After that we did some tastings, and because she liked us and it was quiet, she let us try the premium wines and some other of her favourites that are usually reserved for those who pay and those in their wine clubs so that was nice!

From there, I picked up Andrew and we went to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame which was interesting. Brought back lots of memories from childhood for both of us!! So many movies to see again and books to read again... :)

Friday I pretty much just spent the day getting organised for the trip back. There wasn't anything else major I wanted to see, so just did the washing, cleaned the place up, packed the bags, and read for a bit.

I collected Andrew from work and we went in to Seattle to do the Seattle Underground Tour. Seattle has quite an interesting history. The people who first settled it were idiots basically. When they settled, they didn't take tides into consideration, and started building and planned the town based on low tide. So everytime the tide came in, everything got wet and muddy. The sewerage system was bad to say the least, and every time the tide came in, the town became a muddy stinky mess. Though it wasn't very fortunate at the time, the town burnt down in 1889 which was great for the town. They could rebuild, and do things like sewerage properly, and build it higher. Unfortunately the shopkeepers were too keen to rebuild their shops, so started rebuilding before the streets got raised. So when the streets finally were raised, there was a few metres difference between the roads and the pavements. The picture below gives an idea on how it looks/looked.

So people could walk around a block on the low part of the pavement, but to cross the road they had to get up to the higher part. Because the local council spared no expense (ahem), they had to climb LADDERS that were placed against the brick wall up to the road. Rather than filling in the sidewalk, they just built over it, and so the underground system was established. So the sidewalks are hollow, and the tour of the underground is really interesting. During prohibition, the underground was mostly unused, so became a popular place to store moonshine, and have speakeasy's. During this time it was also very popular for gambling, and "ladies of the night" and basically anything else illegal!

The tour itself was excellent. The guides were funny and informative, the history was very interesting, the tour went for 90 minutes and was only $11 - the cheapest tour we've probably been on, and the best!

A lot of the buildings that were built in this time after the fire are still standing, despite a number of earthquakes since. They were certainly built to last back then! They also made them fire proof after learning from their earlier mishap.

A very enjoyable evening!

On Saturday we started our drive home. We took a 2 1/2 hour detour to go see Mt Saint Helens, which is a volcano that last erupted in 1980 after being set off by an earthquake. It was covered in snow, which made it look impressive, but it also had a lot of low lying cloud so it just looked like a regular mountain which was a bit of a shame. In the valleys below though, you could see where streams of hot lava "burnt" through the rock and trees which was quite impressive.

Once we got back to the highway, we kept going, and had a good drive and did 12 hours of driving (including the detour), which left today (Sunday) with an easy 4 hours of driving to get home. A total of a 2099 mile (3378km) round trip. Well worth it though!

The rest of the photos fro mthe trip are up at our photo website.