Mi madre!

This week (practically – how good are 6 day weekends!) Mum was down for a visit. “Seems soon” you might be thinking, but it was all or nothing! You see, Mum will be away for my next two trips to Brisbane, so she thought it would be reasonable to take a visit to my humble abode. She was impressed too, which was good, because I’d spent all Thursday tidying the room up trying to make it look finished. This involved a long trip to Spotlight looking for the fabric which would be used for my room accents (curtains, table cloth etc). Of course this started in the bargain corner, where I was surprised that $6/m could be called a clearance. Alas, nothing for me there – all I had in my head was ‘modern, not boring but not too out there that it would clash with my bedspread.’

I luckily wandered around the store in the correct direction to slowly adjust to slightly more and more expensive fabrics, and as I had expected, when I got to the fabric ‘I just knew.’ Well, mostly like that: I found the fabric in black and white and liked it, then settled on the black and grey which would go better with my bed. A bit of overestimating of requirements and way too much money later, and I was on my way back home with a few quick vinnies stops on the way.

I also stopped by the weed patch which the sunflower came from, and they had suffered the same fate as Sonny so it wasn’t all me!

We just chilled at home after the airport on Friday night, but still managed to stay up late watching Bodyguard which was on since Whitney Houston died.

Saturday we got a coffee at the best coffee place in Carlton (apparently – not much of an espresso drinker myself so it’s a bit hard to tell), before meandering through Lygon St shops and buying some spices and tea at a shop there (and I bought the cutest hat!). We then used a 3-course with wine lunch voucher at a great restaurant where we got to sit in the courtyard amongst some nice shady trees.

Off to St Kilda to have a wander through Luna Park before some more wine and a game of scrabble, and then to a comedy festival to finish the night off with a laugh. A great day altogether!!

Sunday saw Italian for lunch in hardware lane, a bit of shopping at the outlet stores, and plenty of food for dinner at my favourite dumpling restaurant. We thought that we were putting in a good effort by eating 4 plates between us, but then a couple sat down next to us. Four plates to begin with, good effort.. a round of wine and a look at the menu, then follows a fifth, sixth dish.. seventh and eighth! and they finished them all without any sign of discomfort- what champions! We were amazed.

Monday we spent with Jenny, a relative of Dad’s. A bit of shopping to begin with, then I had to slip into uni for a meeting about potential tutoring. Met up again, had a quick lunch at a nice bakehouse, and caught a $6 at my local cinema thanks to it being Monday before 4pm (I might have planned for that…). It was the same movie that I’d seen the last weekend with a meetup group and loved, so I was excited to be charmed by it again. Just about fell asleep.. knew exactly what was going to happen.. might need a worse memory next time I try to see a movie twice in one week.

A trip to Kmart for some cheap kitchen essentials, and then a trip into the city for plenty of dumplings for dinner which always tops off a nice day!!

Just hanging around at home on Tuesday- put up my curtains which was proving difficult single-handedly, and a trip to the local patisserie to celebrate Valentine’s Day before the airport. Saw a guy get told his bags were overweight and that it would cost him a fortune, so asked if I could take his (kitchen) things to vinnies rather than have them thrown out. Might have scored a baking dish, but totally donated the rest before heading out to French 🙂

Gadgets

Well, you see, once you have a car, the world of second-hand items is pretty much your oyster.

I thought I might like a tv. I had survived pretty well without one, but it gets annoying when everyone on facebook is talking about a particular show which you can’t watch! I went to the shops to find out how much one would be first-hand- not to buy, of course (!), just for reference. There were 24” ones for sale for $150. “I can beat that! Wouldn’t want to go any smaller though…”

Enter ebay, and the world of hundreds of old CRTs being sold, as well as a lot of projection tvs.. I didn’t get one just for the fact that they all seem to have this stand beneath them (presumably part of the tv), which wouldn’t work with positioning in my room. Plus, I read that you have to replace the lamps quite often which would quickly outweigh the cost of the tv.

Eventually I scored a 22” or something one for $30, right near my house. But, I brought it home and it resembled more of a computer monitor… this, coupled with the fact that I had not cleared out my watch list on ebay, mayyyyyy have then lead to the purchase of a 42” plasma for $80. How could I not?!

Even with my car, that almost came to be a difficult pick-up. It’s a bit difficult to gauge the size of something when it’s online. I cleared off the front seat like I had to get my other tv, but figured I’d take my bike out of the bake seat too. Well, it was a good thing I did.. the tv only just fit across the back seat of my car! Ridiculous.

I’ve had a lot of enjoyment out of telling everyone what a bargain it was (it really is a monster in this room), and usually forget to mention that it has some colourful dancing pixels when the tv shows black. The sellers described this as poor resolution, which of course turned enough others off it that I could get it at a steal, but to a short-sighted person, this is not such a big deal!!

It turns out to be a really common problem with all brands of plasma tvs. As such, there’s a lot of information on the internet about how to fix it- you just have to tune a potentiometer in the back of the tv. Easy! 4 million screws later, I can see the component, but can’t get to it because another pcb is mounted in front of it. How lame! No free fixing for me… Which means no fixing at all then! 😀

Apparently, however, tvs these days still need antennas. I did my research and found the $20 bunny-ears which had the highest success rate, and got full signal straight away! Too easy!

I also managed to pick up a shiatsu massage cushion which is quite a treat indeed 🙂

goin alright so far

It’s almost been a week since Alex left, and I’ve mostly still been too busy to write!

On the weekend I went to brunch with a women in engineering and science club which has just started up which was really enjoyable. We went to a place in Brunswick which is where I had been waiting to go, so afterwards I went around and bought some fabric to decorate my room with, but skipped most of the opshops as I haven’t really been in the mood for clothes. I actually think that this might overlap with my previous post, as I am just remembering that Alex left that night. But, before that, we spent the afternoon decorating my ceiling with fabric. It didn’t quite work out how I had envisioned it (like cinema drapes along the top edge of the (really high) ceiling), but with some improvisation we managed to make it look alright by using the existing gross nails in the wall, instead of covering them. There was a bit of an emotional breakdown in the between time, though, as I came to realise that I was indeed living in a rental property. I think it was better for it to happen then than at the airport though – that would have made things a bit too difficult perhaps.

After I got back from the airport I hung out with Paul and his girlfriend for a while, planting the sunflower that I had found in a weed patch and yanked out to take home with me earlier that day. We thought that there wasn’t much hope for it since I had unknowingly done everything possible to damage this plant, but it seems to be alright looking at it now, it’s just a bit balding… I should think more long-term next time before I pick the best looking flower.

On Monday I started work. I felt I would fit in pretty well since the week before I had called my supervisor to see when to come in on Monday. ‘9?’ I said.. ‘Maybe make it 10.’ Pro supervisor. They didn’t really have anything ready for me to do, so once I finally got let inside by someone (my supervisor was not in at 10) I had a chat with Chandan (my actual supervisor it seems) about the project, got sent home for a while, and when I went back got given some papers to read. Pretty strange for a first day, but I managed to buy a pedestal fan and get to the post office to send off a gift for Teagan and collect my bedspread which I had left in Brisbane, and a surprise gift of ‘ninjabreadman’ cookie cutters 🙂

My first task is to make a phonocardiograph: a display of heart sounds measured by a microphone. So I spent Tuesday and Wednesday (and Thursday as it turned out) deciding what circuits to try and which components to buy.

On Tuesday night I went to a meetup called Truth Cinema where they show documentaries at a bar, for free. This week they actually had more of a movie showing, which was animated in a strange way.. overall I didn’t find the movie too impressive, but met some welcoming people there who seem to have quite a strong club going to I look forward to going back there. Free movies!!

Friday I went and picked up my car from the depot.. I was quite happy when I got there and the men commented how excited I seemed! I had collected the keys but my car battery was dead, and when I went back inside I heard them saying how ‘bubbly’ I was 🙂 Butttttt when I got back to my car, the central locking had locked itself due to the dead battery for some reason and my drivers door does not require the handle to be held up for the door to lock. ERGO my keys were locked in the car.. not cool. After a bit of break and enter and a quick jumpstart I was finally on the road in Melbourne! I have been very fortunate to have my satnav, but am still freaked out by the concept of driving with the trams. Seeing Alex drive with the last week helped though, but I don’t know when we have to give way to them etc!

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