Ish My Birffffday!

I'm old! Officially! Alright, maybe not old. But definitely older. 23!

(Who doesn't want to celebrate their birthday with two staff meetings and a head cold? I know you're all just dying with jealousy.)

I have to say, there's nothing more boring than a mid-week birthday. I mean, who wants to celebrate on a Tuesday? Usually, we'd just go out the next weekend, but circumstances are a little different this year what with my other half LEAVING THE COUNTRY ON FRIDAY OMGZ. (He did let me create a blog for him though, so be sure to pay a visit if you have the time - if we get on his case about updates, he might actually remember to use it.)

I'm being spoiled belatedly in regards to presents. My parents are buying me a lightweight suitcase for my travels later in the year, which I've ordered already. Jason had absolutely no idea what to buy me, so we're going with the IOU option for now. Pretty quiet, but that's the way I like it.

Happy July 31st, even if it's not your birthday. Nyer. (Oh! But it's HERS!)

Preparing for "The List".

I find it amazing just how excited I've become about actually doing things that I've marked as important enough to be on "The List". (Click here if you have no idea what I'm rambling on about, or want to refresh your memory.)

In fact I've been so excited, I've already planned ways I can cross things off. Here's a list of the things I've already done/am planning to do in the next few weeks:


  • Gone to the library and borrowed five random novels. (I might add that all of those suggestions you lovely readers left for me in my comments or emailed me, were NOT in my local library catelogue. Apparently I'm going to be reading ten year old fiction, but hey. At least they're still new.)

  • Attended a rugby league game watching Parramatta vs Manly. (All the while, still sporting this bloody cold. I was armed with tissues. Lots of tissues.)

  • I will be stalking Kirby on Sunday. We will be (finally!) watching Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. In Gold Class. Phwoar!

  • My parents are buying me the suitcase of my dreams for my birthday.

  • Tomorrow afternoon's staff development meeting is teaching us CPR. Nifty.

  • I've already started searching for low-fat recipes to make, my family being the guinea pigs. And I've started typing up recipes to take away with me.

  • Charmed Season 8, Dawson's Creek Season 6 & CSI Season 5 are waiting for me.


You see? I'm obviously a nerd, but "The List" seems to be working for me.

Now if only I could stop thinking too much about Jason leaving .. this Friday. Sniff.

Back Later.

If you're reading this, it means I actually figured out how to forward-plan my posts. If you're not reading this, it means I'm talking to myself. Not so bad, either way.

At this very moment, I'm out spending the day with J. We had Thai food for dinner on Saturday night, hopefully followed by a sleep-in this morning. I'm then tagging along to a football game since it was one of J's last requests of me before he leaves, and then we're headed out to yet another dinner, this time with my nan.

And after that? It'll already be Monday, meaning back to work I go. I hate weekends. They take so long to arrive, then disappear so quickly. So not right.

Let me leave you with this fun graphic I discovered, in all it's grainy goodness.

LOL

Too Darned Cool.

Is there any wonder why Jase is fleeing the country in six days time, what with all of our scintillating conversations and all?

[Scene taking place just as he was about to take a shower this morning:]

Jason: I'll be back.
Aly: I'll be Mozart.

[pause]

Aly: Ha! Am funny!
Jason: [blank stare]

Well, at least I find myself amusing in any case.

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

This weekend will be the last one that I get to spend with Jason in five months. At this time in exactly seven days time, I'm going to be at the airport with him and his family, most likely trying not to bawl and make myself look like an idiot. Smack bang in the middle of that? Is my 23rd birthday.

It's not a particularly eventful number of years. It's not like I even have anything particularly exciting planned. Heck, I'll be busy teaching here at school, just like any other week day. But hopefully there will be an evening out of some kind, because going out for birthday dinners is one of my favourite things to do. Ever.

Food! Cake! Drinks! PRESENTS. What could be better?

After working so bloody hard over the past few months to keep my eating healthy and my fitness up, all I want to do is get out there and enjoy a dinner without thinking about what I put into my mouth. [In a non gross way, you dirty, dirty people.] Sadly, I know this won't happen though, as I have an all or nothing approach to eating when I start thinking about food too much. I either turn into an obsessive compulsive calorie counter and analyse everything, OR I just dive in and binge, blowing everything out of the water. It's not a good place to be in, and I'm trying my best to get out of that mindset, but it's harder than it sounds.

I wish I had a flag that I could wave on special occassions, a get-out-of-jail free card if you will, that blocked all the fat and sugar and bad stuff from clinging on to my legs and belly and butt the second I indulge in a little splurge. Who do you think I need to speak to about this? I'll take that as a birthday present anyday of the week.

Because Dancing in Foreign Countries is Awesome.

I spent yesterday complaining, whinging and blowing my nose more times than I would like to count attempting not to think about my current cold of death, trying to make the day go faster so I could go to sleep and continuing my freak out over the plane trip that I've just purchased. But I also spent a good part of the day stalking watching a random American guy dance in countries all around the world.

Not only did Matt visit (and dance in) some amazing places and put together some amazing memories, the lucky bugger was sponsored to do it. And now? I hold him totally responsible for my sudden and overwhelming desire to be just like him. I want to visit heaps of the places he visited during his travels, some of which I had never even heard of before. It's incredible! Climbing Mt Killimanjaro, swimming with stinger-free jellyfish, visiting Macchu Picchu, Antarctica, gah! I have about a dozen places I want to add to my travel list now.

The idea about moving to England to live and work, was that I'd also get to go back to Europe and visit/re-visit different countries whenever I could. Perhaps while I'm doing that, I should come up with my own signature photograph in every place I've been to, to keep as a memento of sorts. Ideas?

(If you're not interested in travelling, I'd still recommend you watch his videos. If only for the sake of some awesome sights and some terribly fabulous moves.)

Now Seems Like a Good Time to Start Crapping My Pants.

Amidst all the talk to friends, families and total strangers, the scare factor of Jase leaving in ten days time, and the other randomness that comes along with planning an eventual move overseas, the reality of the whole thing has not kicked in yet. It's six months away before I have to start thinking about this, and I have plenty to do to keep me occupied in that time. (Oh "List", how I love you so.)

I've got a little more time to frolic around through fields of daisies and pretend that I don't have to be a grown up any time soon. Or so I had thought, anyway.

It kicked in officially last night, which was around the time when I finally began checking the available flights to London in late December through the frequent flyers points scheme. (Thanks to Jason and my parents adding to my frequent flyer points, I have enough to get a complimentary one way ticket from Sydney-London.)

I had been very excited, imagining I would leave in late December to be there for New Years, that there would be plenty of flights available. In my excitement though, I'd forgotten that it's school holidays at this time, meaning flights? Are few and far between. I was shocked to discover that there was only one economy class flight available from Sydney-London for frequent flyer members until January.

Bugger.

(Now imagine if you will, a(n) slightly incredibly frazzled and sick Aly simultaneously coughing up a lung and having panic attacks at the thought of not getting on that flight and having to actually pay for a later one. Not happening. Not. Happening. Am good at stressing out. And am cheap.)

After annoying not only my darling boyfriend but my injured father too, (how he fell down the stairs and fractured a rib or two is a story for another day) I soon had their points transferred into my account. I then proceeded to freak out again because HOLY SHIT AM I ACTUALLY BOOKING A ONE WAY TICKET TO LONDON, chickened out, and decided to wait until mum got home before I booked the flights. I also refreshed the screen madly to make sure that all the frequent flyer members of Australia hadn't suddenly wanted to get on that particular plane on that particular date, but realising all the while that they probably wouldn't because HOLY SHIT IT WILL BE BLOODY COLD IN LONDON IN DECEMBER. I checked, double checked, triple checked that the flight was actually to the right place and that I was not actually going to end up in Timbuktu by mistake. I checked the World Health Organisation page to make sure that London didn't have any crazy diseases going around at the moment, and worried some more because HOLY SHIT LONDON IS A LONG LONG WAY AWAY AND I'M GOING TO MISS MY PARENTS LIKE CRAZY.

(As you can see, I cope fabulously under pressure.)

But, my friends, all worked out smoothly. I eventually booked the flight. I now have my plane ticket (to London, LONDON!) done and booked, with a reference number and everything. (Who came up with this e-ticket idea? It looks like something I could create in Microsoft Word. Is that really the actual ticket? Damn.) There you have it. It's official. I'm going to London,

And did I forget to mention the date I'll be flying out? Silly little me.

It's Christmas Day.

How's that for a present?

Evolution of Dance.

I know this is about a million years old, but I never fail to get a kick out of it.

Come watch the YouTube video because putting in here screws up my blog.

[Plus, I'm sick, and haven't got the effort to whinge anymore.]

Ooh! And he does the Thriller dance! Effing awesome! Must learn these moves. Ha! And look at this one! And this one! These folks are crazy. BUT I LOVE IT!

Red is the new Pink.

. . . when it comes to noses, anyway.

It seems like tissues these days range from nail file texture to sandpaper texture, because my nose? Has turned a rather interesting shade of red. It matches my dry, chapped lips though, and neither is responding well to the countless applications of vaseline. Being sick is just too darned fashionable, as I've mentioned before.

And also? I was informed upon arrival to school this morning that my classroom heater? Has asploded. Meaning it's absolutely freezing in here today. Any wonders why I'm a phlegm machine. [The sound of me blowing my nose is revolting.]

Tonight I'm heading out to a focus group research session about our union here at work, thanks to my friend 'KC'. With the incentive of dinner along the way and a cash in hand payment of $75 for my trouble, I'm going to be there with bells on. I just hope they have plenty of tissues on hand, or else things could get messy.

Hope you're having a wonderful Monday, if that is actually possible.

The Debut of 'The List'

This is it folks, the post I know you've all been waiting for. The post that I've been harassing you for ideas about for the past few days now. The post that I've officially and lovingly dubbed "The List". Having been thrilled reading all of your lovely suggestions, I also scoured the internet for a few extra ideas, and have shoved them all together in no particular order. I've tried to be quite specific about my goals, but some of them are a little vague - but as long as it works for me.

My time limit for completing items off "The List" will be from NOW - Dec 25th, from Jase leaves to Christmas. Oh, and did I miss anything? Let me know.

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Exercise at least 25 days of every month. Keep a log. (At the moment I'm doing a variety of Turbo Jam workouts, plus walking and running on my treadmill.) August: 0/31, September: 0/30, October: 0/31, November: 0/30, December: 0/25.

Have my eyelashes tinted. (I've had this done once before, and it made my pale blonde eyelashes look really pretty.)

Blog. Every day. Every SINGLE day. (I try to do this anyway, but it's always good to write it down, eh?)

Participate in NaBloPoMo. (It's pretty much a given, but yay!)

Stalk Kirby at least once a month. (We should be doing this already!) 0/5

Visit Jen at least once. (It's been way too long since I've ventured up north.)

Visit Julie at least once. (You know I want to! Road trip vs plane?)

Create a London to-do list, such as learning the areas, transport, and touristy things I will do when I'm there. (Squee, Stonehenge!)

Buy a decent suitcase. (The lighter, the better, more clothes!)

Save at least $2,000 a month until November. (That's the goal, now let's see if I can actually do it.) August: $___, September: $___, October: $___, November: $___

More Lala visits. (Just because I'm not going to BlogHer, doesn't mean I can't drink wine with bloggers, damnit.)

Clean out my room. (Obviously this will happen later on in the year, but I want to have everything I'm leaving behind stored up in boxes.)

Sell my car. (Yep. In December. It will be done.)

Learn CPR. (I've always wanted to do this.)

Buy a piece of clothing that is pink. Wear it without cringing. (Yipes.)

Visit a place near my hometown that I've never visited before. (No ideas on this one yet. Maybe head up to the Blue Mountains for a day?)

Visit Sydney and be a tourist for the day. (Any takers on coming with me?)

Enjoy a weekend away, somewhere unique. (Ahem. As above.)

Go ice skating. (Haven't done this in years. Must do this. Must not break bones.)

Send Jason at least one care package. (One in five months? Totally do-able.)

Go down a dress size. (Goes hand in hand with the exercise factor, but I'd love to finally fit into a size 14 comfortably.)

Hit 80kgs. (Mini goal one.)

Hit 75kgs. (Mini goal two.)

Hit 70 kgs. (My weight loss GOAL!)

Make a birthday present for my grandma's 80th next year. (This is extra special, since I won't be able to attend it.)

Read 20 new books. (I'm a nerd. I can do this. Suggestions, please.) 0/20

Go to a theme park. (Since there aren't any here in Sydney anymore, looks like I'll need to go to the Gold Coast. Takers?)

Learn to sew. (I can't even thread a needle. No, really.)

Learn to crochet. (My grandma does this, I wonder if she can teach me.)

Give blood. (I'm a big, giant scaredy cat.)

Learn to knit. (Is it pointless writing this down? I'm a little wary of sharp, pointy objects.)

# Experiment with cooking. (Yikes.)

Create a recipe book with new wonder-meals. (And taste-testing is absolutely part of the plan here.)

Watch at least 10 DVD boxsets. (I can absolutely do this.) 0/10

See a movie in Gold Class seating. (Lounge chairs + movies = bliss.)

Have a night out on the town with Mum. (She's always wanting me to come out.)

Have a night out on the town with friends. (Er, any takers? -puppy eyes-)

Eat at least three new Thai meals. (I always have the same old thing. Time to experiment!) 0/3

Organise a "going away" get-together and be the centre of attention. (I'm not a huge party fan, but it would be nice to have a farewell shindig.)

Have a massage. (I haven't had a proper one in years. YEARS.)

Go bowling. Maybe even disco bowling. (Right, I seriously need some friends for this one!)

See at least one live band. (Pretty self-explanatory.)

See a sports game. (Other than the occasional footy game, I rarely watch sports.)

Head to the movies alone. (Popcorn is optional.)

Start a Swear Jar. (Sometimes my mouth just gets the better of me.)

Make a new friend. (Wouldn't that be nice?)

Book my USA trip for next year. (Yes, I plan on booking it before December.)

Visit the dentist. (I'm not looking forward to this one, no sir.)

That's it for now! Feel free to comment on anything you find interesting here, or to add some more suggestions. (I'll add anything that is do-able!)

Items Added:

Learn the Thriller Dance. (Hahahaaaaaaaaa.)

Drive to Canberra. (Apparently, they have bowling there.)

Lists, Bellies & Coughs.

Before I commence today's whinging, I have to say this: I am SO excited about putting together "The List". In fact, I want to start it now, now, now! You've all been wonderful with suggestions, and I'm pumped. I'll be creating "The List" in all it's glory in tomorrow's post, but I can always add extra ideas to it.

In regards to yesterday's post? I've been told Squishy McMidsection isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's latched on extra tightly, so looks like we'll be sticking together for a while longer. What can I say? Apparently my company is awesome.

And to finish up, I think it's safe to say that the universe? It is out to get me. I'm back at the beginning stages of illness number FIVE for the year - the sandpaper throat, the constant swallowing, the nasal passage from hell, you know the drill. If this turns into a full blown cold, it will be the third since May. MAY.

I need a payrise, what with all these germs.

[I secretly think I still have some weird strain of the goth bug/pretend glandular fever, since they lost my blood test and I was never diagnosed with anything. Either that, or my kidlets are simply mutants. Is definitely a possibility.]

Tummy Correspondence.

Dear Squishy McMidsection,

I was just about to mention how it has been a while since I've written to you, when I suddenly realised that I've never actually written you a letter before. I've fed you an awful lot, whined about you even more and cried over you a fair few times, but we've shared no letters. It's about time we solved that problem, don't you think?

Alas, I have a bone to pick with you, my dear Midsection. A bone that revolves around your stubbornness. It's causing problems and I can't say that I'm entirely happy with you at the present time.  You see, while we may have been friends in the past, it's time for a change. We need to have a parting of the ways, so to speak. I wish to be your friend no longer. This might be a little hard for you to accept after all these years, but it's time.

I'm doing my absolute best to make this break as easy as possible. I'm trying to exercise nearly every day. I'm trying to limit myself from junk food, so you're not lulled into a false sense of security. Heck, I'm even searching high and low for my old friend, Lazy Abdominals, so you get the hint that you've been replaced. But despite all of my efforts, Midsection, you're still hanging (quite literally) around. Barring surgery, what more does a girl have to do to get rid of you?

I think it's time, old friend, that you accept the fact that I don't want you anymore, and disappear. I'd like to have a waist sometime before I'm thirty.

Yours in health (& vanity)

Aly

[And now for one last plea for advice for "The List" before it's put together.]

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture.

What you do expect to see during a Turbo Jam 'shake it' session at home: Yours truly dancing around like a loon, skin bouncing everywhere; not a pretty sight.

What you don't expect to see during a dancing session at school: One of your kidlets wiggling his backside in people's faces, slapping his booty the entire time.

The saddest part? The boy's got better moves than I do. I'm serious!

[Don't forget - I'm still taking ideas on "The List" - so keep those thinking caps on.]

"The List" (Now comes with extra vomit.)

I hope you've all kept your thinking caps on and are still coming up with wonderfully witty ideas to add to "The List" if you haven't already. [And if you already have, too bad! Think of more! Please?] It's coming along nicely, but I want more. Mooooooore! [Insert your best mad scientist laugh here.]

It's going to be good fun putting this together, even with the boring bits like "Cleaning My Room" on there. [Thanks, Mum.]

In the meantime, I was given an omen yesterday telling me how the next eleven weeks are going to pan out. Yep. You generally know it's going to be hell, when one of your kidlets throws up all over the desk and the floor on their first day back.

Simply wonderful. How much do I love teaching?

"The List" - Are You In?

Due to Jason's forthcoming departure from the country in oh, SIXTEEN DAYS, I've turned into more of a scatterbrain than normal. It sounds silly when written down, but it almost feels as though I'm the one who is picking up and moving overseas in just over two weeks. [Wouldn't it be nice?] It's always on my mind, and lately it feels like every second sentence that comes out of my mouth is either 'Yes, he's leaving in a few weeks, yes, it has come up fast..' or 'I'll be joining him in December..' or most commonly 'Take me with you!'

[The latter is usually accompanied by me gripping hold of Jason's legs and not letting go, in a completely non-stalkerish sort of way.]

Way back when I first mentioned the fact that the boy was heading off at an earlier date than we had anticipated, I received lots of supportive comments from my blogging friends. The comments made me feel much more relieved, because you guys? Are wonderful. And I intend on using blogging as a means of keeping myself occupied whilst J is away. That being said, I feel I need more than that.

Sad as I am that he's leaving and that I won't be able to see/hug/annoy him, I don't want to turn into a big moping mess when he's gone. I need distractions.

[About five months worth, to be specific.]

So, I'm thinking of compiling a to-do list of sorts. I've seen Zandria create a list of things that she's been completing and checking off over the months. I know Lara is a big fan of lists. And I know the rest of you are not only fabulously organised, but are full of bright ideas and suggestions, so once again I'll be turning to you for help. I'm going to name it 'The List' because it will sound very important and useful.

The idea is that not only will 'The List' keep me occupied, it'll also give me some blogging topics, because months on from NaBloPoMo, I'm still a freak who insists on posting every single day. [Crazy woman.]

More about 'The List': I'll be on my lonesome from the beginning of August until the end of December, so it's not a great deal of time to play with. I need realistic goals that I can actually work towards and check off and that fit into my work schedule, but I do want there to be a fair few so that I really have to push myself to complete them. They could be fun things, trivial things, stupid things, meaningful things, it really doesn't matter to me so long as they are challenging and keep me busy. All I know is that I definitely want your input on it all. Scratch that, I need your input.

You know you want to help a soon-to-be-lonesome girl out here, right?

You Schmooze, You Lose.

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My newest blog stalkee Kate reckons that I have the Power of Schmooze! Nifty! What does it mean? Well, to steal her words, it's someone who is skilled at the art of conversation and chatter to gain an advantage or make a social connection. Can't say it better myself, so I'm going to just nod and agree with that. Thanks, Kate! [high-fives]

It's incredible how a bunch of pixels can make you feel pretty darned special.

Some of you might remember, but I do find it uncomfortable tagging people or nominating bloggers for particular events. I've already done it this week, what with the Rockin' Girl & Thinking Blogger awards, but I'm going to stick to my fence-sitting roots this time and stay neutral. I'm blessing you all as Schmoozers, because let's face it - if we couldn't have a chat? I most likely wouldn't keep you on my blogroll, and vice versa. So there it is; a gift from one Schmoozer to another.

Happy Monday!

[And honestly? I secretly really, really enjoy typing the word Schmooze. Hee.]

Sunday Google-age Round 8

It's that time of the week again - Sunday, bloody Sunday. Back to work tomorrow.

(I feel I must say this; when it comes to stats, I've been spoiled using Typepad's stats option. It's much easier to use, and I never had to touch Stat Counter then.)

We'll keep it short and sweet this week, since I've had a lot of 'double' searches.

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Cartoon girl
Maybe this is my superhero name. Do you think I'll get to wear a cape and choose a superpower? Maybe drawing cartoons IS my superpower. That's kind of strange, I can't draw more than stick figures.

The crook of my arm
Er, I don't have much to say with this one. I wonder what they were searching for. Pain in the crook of their arm? Holding something in the crook of their arm? Drawing on the crook of their arm? Am not much help without details, folks.

Being married
Apparently you've been cruelly directed to the wrong blog, because I? Am not much help in this department at all. [Except for my faithful watching of the Bridezillas show, that is.] Why don't you ask these already hitched bloggers instead?

New Ricki Lake leg pictures
Ricki Lake has new legs? What was wrong with her old legs? And no, no photos here.

What's a noun?
A noun is a naming word, people. A naming word. My second graders know this.

I hate my fringe I want it to grow
I hear you, though not with a fringe. I hate my entire HAIR and want it to grow. I know I go on and on about the haircut of death from last December - but that was seven months ago. And the hair? Is still slaughtered. It's not growing! She must have used scissors of death, too. Maybe we should both invest in some pretty hats.

When i get older i began to love you
[sniff] I love you too! Even though I don't know who you are, and you don't use capital letters properly which annoys me. A lot. Just so you know.

On Reminiscing
We'll go dancing in the dark
Walking through the park and reminiscing...

Nothing like a little Barry Manilow to take the edge off, eh?

Take the tie off
Ooh. But you can leave your hat on. [Does the Full Monty dance.]

Pictures of my hurting feet
How can you tell from a picture that your feet are sore? Strange. I've had a few emails in the last couple of weeks complimenting me on last December's shoe pictures, though. It's all very flattering, actually. [Except the toe sucking parts.]

Refund handbag fell apart
I'd be taking it back for yet another refund, if I were you.

What is a dag?
I've mentioned this before - this is a dag. And I am proudly one. Are you?

Cattiness in the workplace
Nothing worse than catty workplaces. Put those claws away & start feeling the love.

Donut wedding cake
If you're asking for my personal opinion, I think this is tacky. I mean, look at this!

Lazy thinker or plain stupid
If you're talking about me, I'll go with stupid. Actually, I might be both. [Am talented.]

Blah Blah Happy Birthday
I give you all permission to say this to me in two weeks time. Blah Blah birthday.

Teacher Apologising and Complaining
I doubt that only teachers apologise and complain. But still, guilty as charged.

Scrabble t-shirt stupid
Hey! I happen to own that scrabble shirt you're talking about. Not stupid!

Does any hypochondriacs out there have a constant sore throat?
The grammar queen in me just fainted dramatically on the floor after reading that. Do. DO. For the love of all things English, DOOOOOO. And I'm sure they do. Amongst other exotic  illnesses and diseases too, of course.

I Think I Can.

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My friend Lel emailed me yesterday, telling me she had given me an award for my blog; which was funny since it was at exactly the same time that I had been checking out her site and noticed my name was mentioned. It must have been fate, I'd say.

After uploading the spiffy award, it actually got me thinking. (Ha! Go figure.)

I started thinking about how my blog tends to drift towards a journal some days, a whinging outlet other days, and a home for anything & everything else that happens to come into my head. This blog doesn't fit into a category; it's not just a teaching blog, it's not just a diary, it's not just witty stories.

It's a little bit of everything.

And even if doesn't have deep and meaningful thoughts in every entry, I still love it.

It's my home.

So, without further ado, here are some of the random thoughts that are floating around my brain at this point in time. Make of them what you will.

  • I don't want to go back to school on Monday. Holidays are overrated.

  • This time in three weeks, Jason is gone. And I'll be alllllll alone. Woe is me.

  • I had a dream about John Mayer last night and it was a good one. [wink]

  • It's nice having company around the house again.

  • I want to go to America and visit all of you guys right NOW.

  • Why can't losing weight be as easy as putting on weight? [grumble]

  • I'm cold. Maybe sitting here in a singlet workout top isn't such a great idea.


And keeping with tradition, here is some info about the Thinking Blogger Award.

This is a tagged-only meme. This award was began by ilker yoldas at The Thinking Blog. You must be tagged by someone in order to participate. If any of the above bloggers choose to participate, they should:

1. Write a post with links to blogs that make them think.
2. Email them to let them know they have been selected.
3. Link to my post so your readers can find the origin of your award.
4. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (just right click the graphic in my post and save it for your blog)

Here are my choices for Thinking Bloggers, and why I chose them;

  • BadgerGirl - She is not only a wealth of knowledge, she's also good friend. Bowling.. one day..) I think she's fantastic, so stop by & pay her a visit.

  • Zandria - This girl is an incredible writer, and I love to read her blogging round-ups, as well as her posts for BlogHer.

  • Shauna - No doubt she's won fifteen thousand silly little innernet awards already, but she's fabulous so damn it, she's getting another one!

  • Mrs Squirrel - Because her posts are always amusing, and besides, we share a birthday. What better reason than that?

  • Tasmiya - One of the first bloggers I discovered and I'm still going back. Her writing always gets me thinking, without fail!

Not Just Me!

Here I was thinking I was being snotty and selfish being excited about having presents brought home for me, but apparently you guys are juuuust like me. We must be kindred spirits! (And just to make it clear one more time, I am actually glad to have my parents home, with or without presents. Is true!)

I've been spoiled with with lots of clothes, especially tops. I swear, if I lived in the USA, I'd be poor just from buying clothes. Everything is so cheap! You guys have it good, let me tell you. You don't find $3 tops around here very often. And especially not Lee ones. And the most exciting part? I fit into Large sizes! Do you know how long it has been since I fit into a Large of anything?

I've got nothing else to report today, so I'm going to go be a teenybopper and dance around my room to Fall Out Boy.

[Is a nerd.]

And keep on updating me with USA travel ideas! You guys are great.

They're Home!

The parents are back!

I have people to talk to!

And presents! Sweet, sweet presents!

Did I mention I have people to talk to?

They're probably wishing they were still away since I haven't shut my trap all day, but whatever. They're home! They're sans luggage though, due to a stuff-up at LAX Airport, so keep your fingers and toes crossed that it eventually makes its way to Sydney in one piece.

Because I'm sure the luggage contains more presents.

(I am joking. Psh. What kind of girl do you take me for?)

((Squeeeeeeee! Presents!))

Forward Planning.

I have a favour to ask some of my beautiful blogging friends, so hear me out and give me some thoughts on this one if you can. Virtual cookies provided, too.

For the purpose of asking the questions, pretend it's next year already. (Fast forward through me finishing the year here, through me moving to the UK, to me teaching for six months, and then stop.) Right. So where we've stopped is in Summer 2008 (late July-August) where I have five weeks vacation from teaching and some time to kill. And hopefully the funds needed, but let's not go there.

I've mentioned before that I want to do a Contiki tour of the USA, and I have a friend who wants to do the same tour, so we're looking into planning now - nothing booked, no dates set, just general planning and information at this stage.

This is the tour we're probably going to be doing - a 24 day stretch from either New York to Los Angeles or vice versa. (On that page, you can see the stops & sightseeing that is included in the package, too.)

What we want though, is to spend a couple of extra days at each leg of the trip (NY & CA) and some ideas of where to go/what to do/ways of getting around. That's where you come in! If you live around there, give me some ideas! If you've visited or know the areas or have a good general knowledge, come help!

Places we've listed as definitely wanting to see include: Niagara Falls, San Francisco and DISNEY (!) but everything else is up in the air. (Hence needing suggestions.)

I know the trip is ages away and that I have heaps going on before then, but it doesn't stop me from being excited about the USA now. Let's get planning!

The Countdown Begins.

Having spent the past month cruising Route 66, my parents are flying back home the day after tomorrow. It has possibly been the speediest month in the history of mankind, because wasn't I only JUST whinging about having to fend for myself?

The next two days are also going to fly by - with me frantically dusting and scrubbing and vacuuming everything in sight. I'm not implying that I'm a horribly unclean house mate or anything . . . but my brother? He's the poster boy for grottiness. Jase and I did some cleaning over the weekend, but after a couple of days with Ajay being home, you wouldn't even be able to tell.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased (and relieved!) a few days ago, when Ajay informed me that he was dedicating the whole of his day off to cleaning.

Being the clean freak that I am, I even had a list of things he could do for me - get rid of the drum kit that's been assembled in the lounge room for four weeks, hide the car parts scattered across the garage and the back patio, and maybe, just maybe, actually clean his room. He shrugged off my help though, told me to chill out and that he would just clean already, so stop nagging.

Well, he did some cleaning. I can't say he didn't. But he didn't exactly clean the house.

He cleaned his car.

Bloody hell. Boys! I give up! [bangs head repeatedly against wall]

I am looking forward to having the parents come home, though. Because I miss joking around with them, and complaining to them, and having people to talk to.

And the fact that they might bring presents back with them? Pure coincidence.

[I now have that 80's song in my head.. The Final Countdowwnnn da da da daaa.]

I'm Officially Spooked.

If you read yesterday's Google-age post carefully, you might have read a little anecdote about the television in my bedroom going bonkers.

If you didn't, here's the low down: Apparently, my television is possessed.

On Thursday night, I finished watching a DVD in bed and flicked off the power via my remote controls - one turns the DVD player off, the other the TV. I put both remote controls on the bedside table and rolled over to sleep, nothing special.

Something woke me up about a half hour later. I rolled over and realised that the television had turned itself back on to an empty fuzzy screen, without any noise.

Being a big wimp, I didn't move to turn it off. I just kind of lay there, huddled under my sheets looking around the room for monsters. [As you do.] Ten minutes passed and I figured I was losing my mind, when the television clicked itself off. Of course, I then shot up out of bed and turned the power off at the wall, because that's what the smart people do in the movies. [Never mind that in The Ring, it doesn't help.]

Let's just say that I didn't sleep too well that night, and spent the next few hours watching home shopping infomercials to keep me distracted.

[I want to buy the Turbo Jam workout DVDs. Bloody awesome!]

The next day I told Jase what happened and he laughed at me, which I suppose is perfectly acceptable under the circumstances. When he stayed over the following night, all of the appliances behaved perfectly. No spooky late night switching on or off, just a normal night's sleep. I figured I was just going mental.

Anyone want to take bets on what happened last night, when I was back in bed alone? I turned everything off and fell asleep, only to be woken up an hour later with the television on - this time blaring the loud home shopping channel.

Once again, I jumped out of bed and switched off the outlet, and hid under my blankies for the rest of the night, because OMG, am scared now, help.

What the fuck is going on here? And when did I turn into such a big fraidy-cat?

That's it. No more X-Files episodes before bed for me.

Sunday Google-age Round 7 (It's Alive!)

Sunday Google-age is back with a vengeance today, since I was reminded to do it with a gentle nudge. You'll have to bear with me this week; moving around means my stats have disappeared into nothingness. Yipes! Will need to figure out where I can see my site hits from now on. Oh wait, am clever, found it! Hello Stat Counter.

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Aly
That's me! Hi! How are ya?
Would you like a cookie?
Or how about a round of SingStar?

Non Generic Wedding Songs
Can I just ask what is so wrong with generic wedding songs? Everyone needs a little "From This Moment On" or "Love is in the Air" at their wedding, right? I love the oldies, but my er, musical taste probably isn't a good judge. And why the hell are you asking ME for wedding advice anyway? Do you see any bling in this general direction? Do you? DO YOU?

Making Babies
I'm no expert on this subject, but apparently there are birds and bees involved.

I Seem to Need to Pee all the time
Um, maybe you should research the above topic. I'm just saying . . . OR you could just have a weak bladder. Can I suggest adult nappies*? [* aka diapers.]

Soundtrack to my Life
This is mine, right here. I should do another one of those one of these days.

He's probably slow dancing with a bleached blonde
He is? That man-whore! We should organise to have him killed.

Wearing sexy stockings and contact lenses
Phwoar, you sexy thang. My advice would be to put in your contacts BEFORE trying to wiggle into the sexy stockings. Could be dangerous, otherwise. Your stockings might end up on your head!

Funny student report comments
Ahem, having just finished writing report comments for my kidlets, I don't want to talk about them anymore. Not once. Am on strike!

Musicology
Other than being a not-so-wonderful song by Prince, oh sorry, funky scribbly symbol guy, I think it's a pretty spiffy word. Don't you?

Poems about fussy eaters
Oh, Oh! I'll write one for you. Here we go:

There once was a girl with a blog,
Who looked nothing at all like a frog,
She hates foods with seeds,
And she doesn't like peas,
Her butt needs to go for a jog.

Can kids swim in their underwear?
Well, sure they can. Just make sure they don't leave their knickers behind in the change rooms. They breed in there.

Unsaid, what's it mean?
It means that it's not being said? Um, it's secret? Oh, and it's a song by The Fray.

Peeling potatoes makes me sneeze.
Really? Potatoes? Ha! That's funny . . . I mean, you poor thing. Perhaps you're allergic, and should buy some of that potato whip stuff. It's good wrapped in devon, yum. (Does admitting that make me a complete bogan?)

Jason Behr's penis.
And what exactly were you expecting to find? This blog is G-Rated, freaks.

Sarah McLachlan topless
Again with the pervert-factor. I assure you, I have no titty pictures of Ms McLachlan on this here blog. I dare you to find some.

Don't think I can bungy jump
That's what I said, just before flinging myself off a bridge with my ankles tied together. And I'd do it again, too!

Contiki Sex Parties
Apparently people think I'm having more fun on Contiki than I remember having . . . in the bedroom, that is. Please, I was WAY too busy jumping off things to engage in such events. Although I did hear a rumour about a hot tub on the first night of our NZ tour.

Contiki sex pictures
Ahem. What happens on Contiki stays with Contiki. [Does that sound secretive enough? Like I know what I'm on about, bah!]

Gothic People - I'm feeling lucky
Good for you! Bad for the gothic people; way to stereotype, by the way.

Don't feel chipper
Neither do I. But I like the word chipper. It's nifty. Chipper, chipper, chipper.

In the middle of the night
. . . I go walking in my sleeeeeeep. Quick, distract me before I start serenading you with Billy Joel lyrics. Let me tell you a story instead - the other night, I watched a couple of episodes of the X-Files just before bed [stupid move, Aly you wuss] and after they finished, I flicked off the television and went to sleep. I woke up half an hour later, and my TV had turned itself back on! Being a big fraidy-cat, I lay huddled up in the blankets and didn't move in case the monsters got me, when the television turned itself OFF again. I swear, just like that. Flick! Off it went. I may or may not have stayed awake all night with the light on.

All I think about is tomorrow
Ew, why would you want to do that? Tomorrow is MONDAY. An evil, evil day of the week, if you ask me.

Filthy gorgeous
A mighty fine song to dance around your bedroom too, while wearing high shoes and feather boas. Not that I've done that, or anything.

Let's call her Heidi!
No! Let's call HER Heidi!

Amusing comments from dentists
I don't know if dentists can say anything that is amusing, especially if you are sitting in their chair at the time. Bloody horrible.

Sporting equipent spelt with e
I don't even want to talk about your grammar. Where is the 'm'?

There's really no way to reach me
. . . 'Cos I'm already gonnnnnnnnnnnne. Didn't stop me quick enough this time, did you? This is 'Vienna', also by The Fray. I like your taste.

Horrible feeling when I move my hands.
I hear you on this one. Ricky scratched me the other day while I was cleaning out his cage, and tore a gash in the cushy part of my palm. Every time I move my hands? Boom. Skin splits. Little brat.

Boys shirtless PE lessons
There they are! Over there! [runs and hides]

What is a black balloon?
A really beautiful song by the Goo's that I can't wait to hear live again someday.

What happens when you pop your sty?
It hurts. It goes crusty. It goes away. Three easy steps!

Lite and easy weight loss
Is a food company that delivers frozen meals to your door. We've tried it for a week or so in the past, it's not actually bad tasting stuff! Just expensive. Boo.

Remedy for spotty arms
Honey, if I had the cure for this, I'd be flaunting my arms around with the best of them. Sadly, my spots remain covered up for now, thank goodness for winter. If you find an answer, let me know.

Confessions
I've confessed to a couple of things: Feeling stale and burned out, being a self proclaimed dork, feeling awkward about tagging people in stupid memes. What have you got to confess? Any dirty little secrets?

Your words make me angry
Now now, that's not very nice. How about we think of sunshine and rainbows instead? Much more pleasant. Happy Sunday, everyone!

Irony Is . . .

Seeing your empty fuel tank light switch on as you're driving home from your partner's house . . . having just gleefully informed said partner that you can't be bothered getting dressed this morning and might as well just go home in your pyjamas, because it's not like anybody will see you anyway.

[Imagine, if you will, an unshowered Aly with hair thrown into a signature messy bun, her attire being a baggy jumper*, some trackies* missing their elastic waistband, oh, and paired with a really sexy pair of pointy toed boots* that looked great with my outfit last night. What can I say? Am a fashion diva.]

Bugger.

Thankfully, my car was just fucking with me, as after driving for ten minutes with my eyes glued to the fuel gauge and praying not to break down, the "kms left" panel decided to give me an extra 50kms. Yep. Off clicked the petrol light.

I drove home like a woman possessed, positive that the car was just going to up and die, and that I would have to spend hours broken down on the side of the road. With no deoderant on. This story's ending could have been a lot worse.

And now, for my international readers, a glossary:

*Jumper = Sweater/Sweatshirt (Mine is an old Adidas one that I've had for years.)
*Trackies = Sweatpants/Gym pants (Mine are elastic waist, I'm secretly a granny.)
*Boots = Wait, you guys have boots over there, right?

;)

Oh, and for something REALLY amusing, click on this here link. You'll get to read the above post in Gizoogle format. Yo, I'm the shizznit, peace out gangstas.

A Sucker for Punishment.

Sometimes I marvel at my own stupidity, I really do.

One would think that after struggling to figure out even the most simple of domain changes last week, I would come to terms with my lack of knowledge on the subject and be content with what I had. Ha! No, that would be too simple, of course. [And look, honestly, I just plain wanted to have a bloody favicon work in my blog, not to mention a spiffy theme. So sue me.]

But instead of moving on, what do I do? I move to another domain, whose perks included auto-installing software.

Excellent! I thought to myself. If I give them my money, they'll set up my blog for me exactly how I want it, with no worries. I think I'll go play with the bunnies.

All too happily, I handed over my credit card details and started thinking about, well, not much really. It is the holidays, after all. This went on for approximately thirty seconds, until I discovered that I had gotten myself in well and truly over my head, again, because holy shit, that's one big control panel.

[Cue to scrambled blonde thoughts including, but not limited to the following:]

Ooh! Shiny! Wonder what this button does . . .
Um, what does FTP stand for? For the pro's? Fuck this, pricks?
Why did they give me a username of "aly"? What IS that?
Where the hell is the bloody auto installer?


A few hours later, I had pretty much given up on actually using my purchase, because even after finding the magical installer? Nothing happened. I'd just begun to accept that I truly am hopeless when it comes to all things nerdy, despite my best efforts. Until LaLa very sweetly asked me exactly what was going on with my blog. After a few minutes of grumbling, I took a grudging peep at my site and was greeted with an empty blog. Empty. Full of air. And whiteness. And no posts.

[Cue to mad panic and flailing, with extensive use of the 'eff word. It's true.]

Turns out, I did something right after all. I know - who'da thunkit? And after spending hours importing all of my data all over again and playing around in my new host control panel, I think I've actually learned something. [Gasp!]

At this point, it's time for us to all pretend to ignore the fact that I still haven't decided on or spruced up a theme that I actually like, and focus on the fact that I actually figured out how to import any themes AT ALL, yes? And seeing the little icon thingy sitting up there in the address bar, no matter how teeny-tiny, makes all the drama worthwhile.

I'm bringing nerdy back.

One whinge at a time.

Edit: Just a warning - because I've moved hosts, you might find any auto-feeds are a bit glitchy, so if all else fails, just delete the blog and re-add. Should fix it right up. [Ha, look at me, going on as if I know what I'm talking about!]

It's Tricky to Rock Around*

I'm proud to announce that I'm a rockin' blogger. You heard me right folks, I'm rockin'. (Without the 'g', because am cool like that.)


And my friend Lara has even presented me with my first ever blog award to prove it.


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Not only is it my first time presented with something, it's also my first time getting to dish it out to others. [Being the nerd that I am, I'm not actually sure which is more exciting!]



Laurel @ Sass Attack - She's gorgeous, she's funny and she's sweet, what a combination.
Heidikins @ Heidi's World - You have no idea how much I love this girl, love love love.
Aimee @ Old Guys Dig Me - I've already proclaimed my Aimee-adoration, so there.
Julie @ WTF have I done? - I swear she's my blogging twin, just much, much prettier. Bitch!
Jen @ Operation Pink Herring - She's awesome, with her kitties and her house and her wall.

But you know, deep down we're all rockin' bloggers. That's me, ever the fence sitter.


Peace out, ya'll.


[Puts on rockstar glasses and dances around like a loon.]


*This post title dedicated to my favourite songsters, him & her. Rock on, my friends!

Life for Dummies.

I've always said that one of my pet hates is people who have no common sense, which is really pretty snotty of me considering I'm not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
[Ask my family, they'll concur on this one.]

I think I've become better at being logical over time, but I still have my moments. Sometimes though, I feel it's not just me; that things are made difficult on purpose, when there is no real need for them to be.

Like why I can't figure out how to get songs off my Ipod and loaded onto a computer with no Itunes library on it, without obliterating them into nothingness? [Yes, I'm worrying about this a good six months before it has even become a problem, so what?]

Like why I'm working my arse off, yet losing a third of my salary to tax, of which I receive only a pitiful amount back? [How the hell does anyone afford to move out in this country?]

Like why all the foods that I love to eat and crave like crazy are always fattening, and why I can have one bad weekend and gain over two kilograms? [Bugger. Shit. Fuck.]

After some fruitful searching of my own, I've discovered some books on the subject. Perhaps it's high time I learn some more, because I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed.

Google-age Question of the Day

DO COLD SORES HURT LIKE A BIG ZIT?

[Yes, capitals were evidently very necessary, because this question is SO IMPORTANT.]

My answer?

Well, sure. I guess they do hurt like a big zit. But they can also hurt like a little zit. You know, those ones that are tiny and barely visible to the naked eye, but make your face ache? I'll be getting a few of those after this weekend's junk food binge.

[Seriously, folks, I did not have a cold sore the other day. I just split my lip! And it's better. No herpes in sight! Do you have any idea how many cold sore hits I'm getting? Crazy.]

I am the Epitome of Cool.

Got a little spare time on your hands?
Feeling like you need to er, spruce up your image a little?
Over-active sinus and/or throat glands got you down?

I'm pleased to inform you that I have found a way to combat these worries. Just follow these simple steps, and you'll be on your way to looking as cool as me.

Step 1 -- The Diet:
Diet? What? Raid your pantry and see how much food you can ingest before your stomach starts making gurgling noises that leave you concerned & running for the bathroom.
[Optional: Nutella is low GI, so eating it straight from the jar is perfectly acceptable.]

Step 2 -- The Clothes:
It's all about comfort. Over-sized jumpers, daggy trackies and pink fuzzy socks are all the rage, especially when paired with clompy house slippers & five year old dressing gowns.
[Optional: Throw blankets from your bed around your shoulders for added comfort.]

Step 3 -- The Hair:
My two words for you are these, messy & bun. The greasier, the better! Simply take hair, shove into bun and tie back. Simple, easy and completely hassle free.
[Optional: If you're keen and have already showered, simply slick back wet hair as above.]

Step 4 -- The Image:
Throw away that lippie, be gone with the foundation, it's time to let it all be natural! Red noses are replacing red lips, dry and cracked lips are so fashionable, and once only runway models could sport eyes ringed with black and vacant expressions.
[Optional: Stay indoors. If you must venture outside, big black sunglasses are a necessity.]

Step 5 -- The Health & Wellbeing:
Sharing is caring! Spread your germs as far and wide as possible because you know what they say; misery loves company! Why be sick on your own, when you can bring others down to experience it with you? Your friends will love you for it.
[Optional: Sniffing pepper induces sneezing, for optimum germ spreadage.]

Come hang out with me, now please. No, really. I am the epitome of cool, indeed.

Love & Hate (aka Stealing is totally a form of Flattery.)

Seeing as though tomorrow is the official beginning of the two weeks of winter school holidays, it's only fitting that my brain has shut down already. Therefore, I'm borrowing the lovely Janet's idea, and keeping today's post short and simple.

Love: Being on holidays. This term at school has been exhausting, and I'm drained. As fast as it's going to go, it's two weeks that couldn't come soon enough.
Hate: That I've come down with the flu, for the fiftieth time this year. My immune system really needs a gigantic kick up the arse.

Love: That Jase is a sweetheart and puts up with my lack-of-sleep / flu induced / female hormonal whinging sessions, and still loves me.
Hate: He's leaving. In 32 days. Which only leaves four weekends.


Love: It's my birthday in exactly one month. Close enough, anyway. Start planning now!
Hate: I'm going to be 23 and I'm still not engaged yet. (It's all part of "The Plan", which I'll have to discuss at a later date, my clogged sinuses aren't letting me think clearly today.)

Love: I found a way to watch my Region 1 Felicity DVDs, which is cause for celebration.
Hate: That place is on my mum's computer, which is just not the same as watching in bed.

Love: My two rabbits are finally living together in the same cage. No hair pulling, no biting, just two rabbits squished together for warmth with the occasional grooming session going on. Needless to say, I'm completely and utterly chuffed with this development.
Hate: That when I head overseas next year, I'll have to leave my babies behind. Tis sad.

Love: I have an initial phone interview with a UK teacher recruitment agency sometime this week. (The goal is to get a block set up before I leave the country, ready for January.)
Hate: Aly + Talking to strangers = Rambling, nervous pauses & fake laughter. Ack.

Love: This weekend I squeezed back into non-stretch jeans that I haven't worn in four years!
Hate: I've consumed more calories over the past three days than I have in the last month. (Looks like the skinnier jeans won't be fitting for long!)

Feel free to leave your own love/hates in the comments, and be sure to stop by and pay Janet @ Love is Blonde a visit, if you don't already. Have a great weekend, folks.





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