Archive for February, 2006

Tonight is my Second Last Night Away

Away from the incredibly schizophrenic climate of Melbourne; the weather here in Iluka will be one of two options; warm and sunny & thunder-storming. The thunder storming option usually occurs at night, its fantastic.

Away from work; Ive done very little in the past two weeks, its been wonderful. A huge change from 9 to 6 ev-a-ree day at the coal mine.
A list of what I have done:

  • Woke up late most days.
  • Played lots of computerised Risk.
  • Gone swimming every day.
  • Somehow acquired a tan.

Away from long hair; I got my hair cut very short the day before we left. Most people haven’t seen it. I am particularly nervous about my Nana (Mums mum) seeing it, she liked my long hair; she may pull on my short hair until it goes long – she’s peculiar like that.

Away from 2006; Its a funny thing to say but being up here is like living in the past. The radio constantly plays pop songs that I loved to hate in my high school days, consequently I now know every word and sing along with glee. The internet is this strange thing that you see advertised in video stores. The ads on TV up here use effects that I haven’t seen used on television since 1995, it looks like the editor just learned to use Final Cut Pro and wants to show the world every effect possible.

Away from Google; its amazing to see just how much I depend on google for my day to day stupid questions about really obscure stuff. Stuff like “do potatoes store well?”, “how do you say ‘welcome to idiot town, population you’ in French” & “why did my iprecious’ right speaker just stop working”. I do in fact know actual people who could answer ALL of these questions for me, but I don’t want to be a bother.

Away from my jeans; at home I wear “jeans-and-a-tee-shirt” almost always. I did bring jeans, two pairs in fact, because jeans are one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. However, it is far too hot here to even contemplate anything that goes past my mid thigh, let alone my whole leg. So the lovely people of Iluka have had a GOOD LOOK at my legs, and they should count themselves lucky.

Away from a shower that I don’t have to crouch under to get my head wet; the bathroom here has a little bit to be desired. I’ve just taken that bit to be part of the holiday experience but oh-lordy am I going to drown myself, and my hair, when I get home. My first shower will be so long you’ll see a resulting effect on the amazon river.

So this little two week jaunt really has been a holiday, which also means it was awesome (time away does NOT count as a holiday unless it was an entirely positive experience). Im going to be a little sad to leave the totally perfect weather, the mild-reprieve from technology and the totally lazy days I’ve been having. But I have missed my cat, and my family. I’ve even missed my work a little, which means that Im insane when I get home I’ll appreciate home-life a little bit more. Not such a bad thing really.

Where the Wild Things Are

While holiday-ing, I’ve been swimming in the river out the front of the holiday house. Its a little area with sandy beach on two sides, a net and a rock wall on the other two. I swim parallel to the net, which is the deepest cross section, toward and away from the rock wall.

Its wonderful, I feel like I’m floating in space; the sky hovers above me like a massive blue planet curving upwards on all sides. Thousands of tiny crabs scuttle and swarm on the banks of the river, each group behaving as one individual entity. The birds sit in the trees flap brightly colored wings that catch the eye and sing songs I’ve never heard before.

If I ever had the chance to visit another planet I would imagine that the experience would be very similar.

But its because of all these new strange things that I have developed a very unusual fear; I can never bring myself to swim within three meters of the rock wall. It looms in front when I swim towards it, and lingers behind when I swim away. It menaces me from the moment I step into the water until the moment I leave.

The fear of course, is completely absurd, I know that the scariest thing on that wall are the barnacles, and the only thing that could cause any harm would be little crab claws. I have seen people sit on it happily without any sign of a giant pink tentacle rising out of the water and snatching them by their ankles then devouring them in a shower of screams, blood and bones. This fear goes completely beyond rational thought.

The only reason that I can give for this fear is that Im in a strange place and my mind is on the alert and ready for anything; even a eight foot crab with a set of grumpy poisonous snakes instead of claws.

I suppose that the appropriate quote would be “nothing to fear but fear itself”, but thats the rational bit talking again. So ‘cause Im a tad bored of my voice of reason, and that Im on holiday, Im just going to trust my irrational instincts and believe that there is some great monster of the deep hiding down there. Maybe if I bring it cookies it’ll be my friend.

Im on Holiday

We escaped dawn Monday morning, piling our stuff into the boot. The poor taxi driver wasn’t sure which way to go – or really didn’t want to go – and some precious minutes were wasted on determining the direction that should be taken. Eventually however we were stealthily on our way, blending in perfectly with the rest of the morning traffic.

A small lack of foresight on my behalf, I was in was was quite clearly hot weather clothing. My short sleeved top giving me no protection against the chilly morning breeze, would we be noticed and stopped? I ducked down low in the passenger seat and we continued our journey.

Once over the Bolte bridge we allowed ourselves to relax; the city was a glorious still life behind us, the sun peeking out between the bottoms tall buildings. Arriving at the airport we unloaded and made our way to the queue, we stood patiently and awaited our turn.

Suddenly a guard appeared, starting with the first in line he instructed the entire line to stand on the left hand side of their luggage in a strict row. I shuffled my luggage into place and nervously stood by it.

A creature of fur and drool appeared. Hurriedly it sniffed our belongings, we watched in trepidation. Without a pause, my bags had passed by the dog’s sensors and it moved onto James’, first his carry on bag then his suitcase, then horror, the dog paused at the body board bag, it sniffed and snipped and scratched at it with its paw then sniffed again. Was our attempt at freedom going to be thwarted so early on in our attempt? I clutched the handle of my suitcase.

Miraculously however, the dog seem satisfied and moved on. We were ushered to the checkin counters where we produced our ID’s and smiled. The girl behind the counter groaned at our eagerness, clearly jealous that it wasn’t herself escaping.

All that remained was to purchase some entertainment for the flight and board the plane.

James was given a free mag full of well endowed and barely clad women, I provided myself with two magazines; one containing the very latest in science, the other containing the very latest in women’s fashion and beauty. I felt they canceled each other out.

Boarding the plane we found out the seats were unallocated, we would have to fight to sit side by side. Marveling at the oddness of this arrangement we grabbed the first two seats that were anywhere near each other and settled in for the hour and a half flight to the sunny Sunshine Coast.

The flight went by without terrorist hijackings, dinosaurs, angry passengers or vomit and when we landed we were caressed with the warm touch that is “good weather”. Stepping off the plan into what should be called “Sunshine – Guaranteed”. We went on holiday.

The Mating Call of the Apple Computer

The first time I heard it I was in grade three, which would have made me about nine years old. It was a funny first impression; “what the hell was that? MY computer doesn’t do that…”, I wanted to capture and examine it, like a butterfly flitting past my field of vision.

I wasn’t allowed to use the machine un-supervised, one of the grade four boys sat next to me and helped me write out my story about the dinosaurs we saw at the museum. Rather indignantly I informed the boy that “I had a computer at home” and “I was better at computers” than he was. He told me that this particular computer “was special”.

Pissed off, I wrote out my dinosaur story, while the boy next to me pushed the caps lock key on and off. And although I liked how much prettier the “screens” were compared to my box at home, I figured the only really special thing about that computer was the small magical sound it made when you turned it on.

During the next ten years I became more and more familiar with the non-special varieties of computers. At thirteen I was a righteous little PC nerd, at sixteen was being teased at school for my knowledge.

My next real encounter with these “special” computers didn’t come until my final years of high school.
I was going out with a guy who lived up the road form an Apple store. I walked past it every time I went to visit him. Initially what interested me there was not the computers but these magical little things called iPods, I would go in there just to assure myself that they were as good as I thought they were, that I wasn’t making all this greatness up in my head. Preparing for the day when I would walk in there and buy one.

On one of these little visits I head it again. Like angels singing though the digital clouds of computer heaven. I thought “Yes, I remember this. It’s a special computer, it’s a Mac”.

After that day there was a special place in my heart for the macintosh, I was still a PC girl, but that was only because that was all I could afford. The call of the Apple never failed to snag my attention.

At uni I would hear it every day, it would mark the beginning of morning classes. And I would muse over what it was saying. In the morning it would be “Hello!”, during a bad day it would be a sympathetic “How-Are-You-Feeling?” or “Its-okay-things-arent-so-bad” and sometimes it would be “I-kick-your-PCs-arse-up-and-down-the-university-halls”.

I looked on enviously as others bought macs and were greeted by their very own personal chorus of digital birdsong. Then, for my twenty-first birthday my parents helped me buy a little bundle of iJoy of my own.

I had never been allowed a puppy, and I stole/rescued my pet cat from a neighbor. Id never had the experience of my own cute little animal to make friends with from the start. To follow me about or jump all over me when I got home. But opening up my iBook for the first time, I knew right then that I had found my missing furry friend.
Its cute little start up noise sounded just like; “I-Love-You”.