September 27, 2008

i wanna live in a castle

OR at least I think Barack and John should have a duel.
For those of you who had the pleasure of living in Carlin-- I think the Lake of Doom would be an appropriate, yes, perfect. But what kind of weapons? I think maybe they should have to sing karaoke to the Beach Boys and then proceed to Riverdance across the pond. If that does not decide a winner, light sabers should prove sufficient--or hey, even regular sabers would be okay. Who's with me?!

Or better yet, they should play the New Zealand game of Stonewall. oooh-- yeah, that's even better. This crazy game is full of strategy and reminds me eerily of the elementary (primary) school game of Dot. The predictive powers of presidential success should not be ignored.

...onward DEMORCR/...oh wait, I think my french fries are ready

peace out.

September 21, 2008

wine-colo(u)red daisies make sundays oh-so-delicioso

So pretty much, by 2100 sixty percent of the world's species will be extinct if we keep doing what we are doing. This is quite troublesome for me, and it should be for you as well. (If it's not and you just think it's all a big cliche, then you, I'm afraid, have been taken by the crazies. I am sorry for you for that.) ANYHOO, I thought I should start documenting all the pretty flowers I see on my run, because then I can show my adopted children later and talk about the better days when we had more than one plant or animal in the neighborhood. Plus, I have some torn, broke, or pulled something-or-other(s) in my hip/ leg and this way I can stop and walk every now and again while trying not to cry.

Just gorgeous.

So not to bore you too much with details you probably care little about--I'll briefly summarize some fun times in the last week. Friday was a Deaf Studies Symposium that turned out to be a really nice event. There was a very mature discussion of some very interesting issues, and I got to meet more of the Australian and New Zealand Deaf community. PLUS:

After the symposium, George, two of her friends from New Zealand, and I went to Kat's house to pre-party before Deaf club. After a bit, we headed on our way--to what ended up being a fun filled night in Burwood. I even think I learned more Auslan! Saturday, me and Kat went to her friend's house for a Nepalese birthday lunch. Then later we headed to the city for another birthday party--which ended up as a bust. So we just walked around Darling Harbour and had a beer at a HUGE casino.

After, we just caught a train to Paramatta and called it an early night. So a very nice weekend indeed. At the moment I'm watching Van Wilder (::sigh::) and recharging for another full work week.

Signing off.

September 14, 2008

Aujourd'hui, j'ai

Je viens de lâcher 1400€ dans un billet d'avion. C'est beaucoup et peu à la fois. En espérant que Air France soit gentil avec moi durant tout ce voyage, je vous dit à bientôt. Enfin je ne suis pas encore parti :) Mon départ est prévu pour le 1er décembre.

(p.s. from Linzi: by the emails i've been getting, some of you can't read french. so--basically Vincent bought a plane ticket and should be arriving in Sydney on December 2, 2008. YAY!)

September 13, 2008

Demain , j'achète

Hello, cela fait un peu plus d'un mois que j'observe les fluctuations tarifaires des billets d'avion. Ayant décidé de partir le 1er ou 2nd décembre, je passe plusieurs minutes par jour sur les sites de Air France et British Airways pour un jour acheter un billet d'avion vers l'autre bout de la terre.

La concurrence est rude ! Air France propose des billets aller-retour à 1400 € environs (sachant que le billet aller est en première classe pour une modique somme de 5000€). Du coté de British Airways, le billet aller est aux alentours de 1100€. 300€ de différence me direz-vous ! Ce n'est pas ce que j'appelle de la concurrence.

En réalité, j'ai poussé la logique plus loin que ces 2 prix. J'ai la carte Flying Blue de Air France et je gagne des miles sur chaque vol. Ce qui n'est pas le cas avec British Airways. Un vol à Paris-Sydney me permettrait de gagner 10 000 miles, ce qui équivaut à un billet gratuit aller-retour en Europe. Or, un tel billet coûte de 250€ environ. Il ne reste plus que 50€ de différence, si vous me suivez...

Avec Air France, plus on gagne de miles, plus on est respecté. Et sur les prochains vols, j'aurai éventuellement le droit de passer devant tout le monde pour monter dans l'avion, accéder aux espaces privés Air France, et obtenir des tarifs intéressants sur les vols.

Et c'est à ce moment exact que je pencherait sur Air France ! Mais ce n'est pas fini ! En l'espace d'un mois, le billet aller-retour de Air France a oscillé entre 1400 et 1700€. Il ne me reste plus qu'à attendre sagement et acheter le billet lorsqu'il est au plus bas... C'est un peu comme à la bourse. Sauf que ma carte de crédit bloque mes achats de plus de 1000€ :(

Et là, ce n'est pas cool. J'ai fait la demande à ma banque (BNP) pour augmenter le plafond afin que je puisse acheter ce billet d'avion. Normalement, je devrais pouvoir acheter mon billet demain, encore faudrait-il que le prix du billet Air France n'augmente pas cette nuit...

September 12, 2008

Woah Nelly--

Man, you sure do emit a lot of carbon. I mean, what are you trying to do--start another ice age?!

SO- maybe you have noticed a pop-up being generated when you load Out Finding the Real. (Let's take a moment to dwell on the fact that Lindsay figured out HOW to embed pop-ups on the blog. Sometimes I don't even recognize myself anymore!) In any case, the popup contains a survey I just made inspired by the book I'm reading "The Weather Makers: the history and future impact of climate change" by Tim Flannery (who's Australian!). I made it partly because I think every person I know should read this book and partly because I need to learn how to use Survey Monkey. Yeah, yeah, I know- some of you have already been victim to a previous attempted survey. But this one is better and you should take it. EVERYONE TAKE THE SURVEY!

September 10, 2008

It's my birthday and I'll do what I want to!

Against several objections from those of you who still have to live in the United States about the technicalities of time travel,
it's my birthday.
Bec and I discussed and decided that I get to celebrate it from the time it starts in Australia to the time it ends in the States. Therefore, unlike ALL of you, I get a 38 hour birthday. Read it and WEEP. AND, because of all of this, today I get to do what I want. So, I woke up and said hi to the mom-o and quickly proceeded to write an email making fun of my twin brother for it NOT being HIS birthday. HA HA HA. (That hasn't happened since 1999 when I was living in Japan!). Then I made my way to the university to watch a lovely presentation entitled "What do they think of me? The perceptions of interpreters held by medical and legal practitioners" by Dr. Hale of the University of West Sydney. Oh! And Agnes and George gave me a flowery plant for the office! Keep your fingers crossed so that it can live.

Then on the way home, the bus driver decided to go the wrong way. So, we pulled a U-y in the middle of a residential area. Hm. This has happened twice so far here-- you think they'd practice first or something. Because of this, I've decided to learn the way myself so I can be of assistance next time...right on Tallwood, left on North just past Lavender Grove...past the Meat Boutique up Quarry Road (the one with too many refuge islands--whatever those are)...left at Victoria Road near the ibis trees...Then after another driver replaced him (end of shift?) the new driver couldn't get the bus in gear and we kept sliding backwards. HAH.

Luckily, I made it home, because I had a mission. I was treating myself to a LONG RUN!! Wahoo, the weather was absolutely perfect and sunny. It had to be done.
I ran mostly on a pedestrium (sp?) that they just opened for me--it goes for quite some miles along the water. I'm very happy about this.

In about an hour I'm going to eat delicious Thai food with Bec and her parents...because I want to. :) Hip Hip Hooray for Birthdays!

September 7, 2008

whoever says canberra rocks hasn't seen the big merino

The trip to Canberra was a wild success. Although, halfway there, I realized that the actual point of the trip was to visit Goulburn, a small town home to the Great Merino. The Great Merino is a gigantic statue of a sheep, and it is quite gigantic. Man, this town must love its sheep. While me and Lenny (the other hearing American on the trip) enthusiastically went around taking photographs of this tribute to Australian engineering, Kat and Rachel stayed in the car (probably mocking us). But all is well.
We arrived to our hotel about three and half hours after leaving Sydney, just in time to make it to Trivia night (the supposed point of the trip) at the local Kangaroo Football Club. There were probably about 100 or so people there all ready to get their smart random knowledge on. I found out quite quickly that I do not know much random Australian knowledge...something I plan to work on for the future. Highlights of the evening included meeting some lovely members of the Australian Deaf community, learning the tactile Auslan alphabet, having Rachel win us a nice handle of Jack Daniels, learning that the Pentagon is four stories high (I'm not sure if I believe this), and having a late night party at our hotel room.
Waking up after only a few hours of sleep worked out amazingly well. And good thing too, because we had to get to Canberra! After a hearty breakfast at McDonalds (not a word), we made our way to the Parliament House. It was a pretty cool Parliament House-- at least the public can go in it. Had a nice pinhole photo exhibition and the Magna Carta! It also had an impressive mace. "In the middle ages, a mace was a club used as a weapon in battle. Today the Mace is a symbol of the authority of the House and hence, the authority of the Speaker, and is placed on the Table in the chamber while the Speaker is in the Chair." If this is not a tribute to democracy, I don't know what is. Also, the roof is quite amusing, because it is covered in grass and slopes down to the ground. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of the home in the hobbit shire in LOTR (don't you think Lenny? Kat?).
We thought about democracy for a minute before making our way (more or less) to the National Museum of Australia! The crazy architecture reminds me of the Centre Pompidou except that it has better art and more interesting exhibits. AND I got another photo of a parrot! (Speaking of parrots, did you know Australia is home to 119 species--more than any other country?!! I have my work cut out for me for sure!)
After a nice meal in Manuka we made our way back to the big city. On the way we stopped to take pictures at the line between New South Wales (one of Australia's states) and the Australian Australian Capital Territory (one of Australia's Territories). They have a nice sign and we only had to suddenly stop on a big highway to get to it. Unlike on the way there, our way back enjoyed good weather and nice scenic vistas (which I'm sure were there before but we just couldn't see them).

I arrived home late and exhausted. But it was a beautiful weekend full of good conversation, funniness, and more practice using AAUSL (the official language of the trip--a mix of Auslan, ASL, Englishy type signs, and probably a whole lot of gesture). I can only hope more of this is to come.

September 4, 2008

music, instant coffee, and Canberra!

Almost every day this week on my way to work the bus has been playing the radio! Isn't that lovely?! Of course it's not nearly as good as what George got to see:
...oh well, the music is still good.

This week, me and George have been very busy with our ethics applications. (Well, it must be said that my project will probably have much more luck at the ethics committee than George's, so everyone keep your fingers crossed for her.) As this is quite tedious work, (you know the checking of boxes and promising not to do anything secret or mean), we have been drinking our fair share of NesCafe to keep our spirits up. This country LOVES instant coffee, which I will not immediately hold against them but I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Anyhoo.

Bec is out of town this week, so I've been partying it up at the homestead watching West Wing (I must really miss DC). It's going okay. However, tomorrow I am going to go to Canberra (Australia's capitol) with Kat, my premier Auslan teacher and new friend! I really just think she felt bad for me that I was all by my lonesome, but I'm really happy for the invite anyway! We will be going to a trivia night fundraiser :: aka ROAD TRIP ::. WAHOO. You will hear more about this next week.

Okay, more West Wing. Chow.

September 2, 2008

Sydney, Australia- from an airplane*

*Thanks Georgina for providing these stunning airplane shots (taken on her way back from New Zealand).