April 21, 2009

For the love of all that is PENGUIN!

It has been decided: penguins R-O-C-K. They are just so spectacular, I can't even begin to think about describing them to you. So, I won't. Instead, I'll back up a few days to sum up our lovely stay in the southern city of Melbourne.

You see, it all started when Vincent's work sent him here for a month, which I guess is a good opportunity for him and blah blah blah, but whatever. What it means for me is that once again we are going to be spending a few months apart (if you add on the month that I'm going to the States). PLUS, we are supposed to be getting married in the midst of all of that. Sigh. Never the best timing, but that's how the penguins roll (haha get it? penguins.).

That's when I decided to have a great idea and go down to Melbourne WITH Vincent. I'm a PhD student after all, and one of the perks is a mobile work environment. It also helps that the project (and me) is collecting data in Melbourne, and I could help get that started --and voila: everyone is happy!

Since arriving, I've been very very busy writing my thesis proposal-which even if it kills me will be done by May, running--kind of at least, and doing a bit of sightseeing and drinking delicious coffee. My runs have been around the Royal Botanic Gardens which, I have to regretfully say, are better than the ones in Sydney. 90 acres of crazy plants and I'm sold, what can I say?

We also visited a town just outside Melbourne called Williamstown and discovered an authentic French Breton Creperie. And oh holy crepes, people, it was so delicious. I think the world I'm looking for is heaven. Yeah, and the coffee-- not even funny how awesomely lovely it was. :)

But the day didn't end with delicious crepes my dear friends-- it ended with PENGUINS! Vincent and I had both been on a mission to see penguins. It just wasn't in the cards to go see the little buggers on Phillip Island so we decided to visit the Melbourne Aquarium instead which are having an exhibit on Antarctica. And it was everything it should have been and more. Here's a short video of them....
video
Then of course, what's an aquarium without crazy sea animals... my OH SO FAVORITE (Leafy) Sea Dragons, tassled angler fish, and jellyfish!!



They also had gigantuan stingrays and several varieties of turtles and frogs. We also got to hold a baby starfish (well, actually- I have absolutely no idea if it was a baby--but it was small)!

If only everyday could be spent in a giant aquarium...

Alright y'all, it's time for Lindsay to go write linguistic-y things about mental spaces and medical terminology!

April 8, 2009

happy times:sad times

What a month people, what A month. I think that's what happens when time gets confused as to what season it is: March thinking it's September, April thinking it's October--I mean, who WOULDN'T that confuse?!

A few weeks back, Vincent and I housesat for some friends who just happen to live in the center of Sydney. We stayed a little over a week, and it was.... fantastic! My week was chock full of Starbucks--just a 15 min walk away--writing "heaps" on my thesis proposal in a very quiet and productive environment, and running. And ohhhh the running! Vincent went a few times and I did a few long runs as well.
1. around Cooge

2. Centennial Park

3. Bronte, there and back

4. over Harbour Bridge

This, people, is what running is all about. The sun, the fresh air, the trees, the ocean. Too good. Too good to be true, even. I should have known better. But I let the week take me, and I went with it. Silly Lindsay, silly silly Lindsay.

It's been fourteen days since that last run in the city. If I would have known it'd be my last, I would have tried to go farther--you know, run to Manly or something. Sigh. Needless to say, I'm sad about this. And to top it off, Vincent's in Melbourne for all of April, I have a thesis proposal that's overdue, I'm constantly having to resist all the planning going on around me about upcoming nuptuals, while trying to prepare everything before I go to the States for a month. How can a person not run in this situation-- I swear, my will is stronger than my mind.

But, before I had a total and complete nervous breakdown--which, in all honesty, is not without merits--Vincent decided to be the perfect husband-to-be and bought me a shiny new present (Well, the verdict is still out as to who he actually bought it for--him or me, but I think we both agree that the timing was for me). His name is Marshall. He is a 20" iMac with a lot of memory and super sonic speed. His large screen helps me do awesome linguistics and it's quite fun to watch movies on. Yay!

In addition to this most lovliness, Vincent also bought me a ticket to Melbourne so I can hang out with him down there. I'm very excited about this because 1. We will be in the same city again, 2. There will be little distraction so I can focus on getting my proposal done, 3. There might be penguins to go see, 4. I can actually do work and collect data for my PhD project AND the medical sign bank project. So it's a win win all around.

Accordingly (I am trying to eradicate the word 'therefore' from my writing--apparently it doesn't mean what I think it means), I have taken the good with the bad these past few weeks. I really wish I could go running--the weather now is perfect for it, but I'll take the extra time and focus on my studies.... I guess. Everyone say THANK YOU VINCENT for being so perfect.

And our next post will most probably be from Melbourne.... unless I try to make Karen's magic bars, in which case, you might get one in between.

Ciao!

April 1, 2009

Melbourne...

Because most the readers are native english speakers, I figured I would write in english (well at least try to). And my fellow french friends know english well enough to understand me.

I went to Melbourne on tuesday morning to work for a branch of Publicis, called Mojo. Mojo deals with the website graphics and they needed a developer to work on an application for Qantas. Because Digitas is the programming branch of publicis, I went to Melbourne to help them finish the project.

I am currently at work, in South Bank, a very nice area of the city. The company is next to the river and close to a nice pedestrium with lots of restaurants and shops. Also, the hotel I am staying at is a 3 minutes walk to the company which is great. And, because there aren't many people staying there at the moment I got an upgrade!

- a living room with a big flat screen TV, couches, big table and its 6 chairs around it
- a kitchen with oven, microwave, fridge, toaster, coffee maker...
- 2 bathrooms with washing machine, dryer, shower and bath
- 2 rooms, with 2 big beds and a TV in one -- you guessed that I slept in the one with the TV :)
- a balcony

I have to agree that this room is a little too big for me, but I am not complaining.

The work is interesting. We are building an application for Qantas that will ask Australians what they like or admire. Then Qantas will analyze these data and display a graphic map of Australia with what people like or admire depending on where they live. It does not seem clear, I know...
Along with that, the application will regularly retrieve data from Twitter and Blogger (Google) and parse the data to only keep the ones with the word love in it, or admire. I am working on this part, retrieving the data from these apps and parsing them to display only the ones we need.

So yeah pretty cool application, and Melbourne is quite nice so far. Weather is great too, while it's pouring rain in Sydney hehe. I will be there for about 4 weeks.

Peace out!