Festival of Winds
Emmy and Gaby
Monday, May 31, 2004
Presenting... In Person...
Just finished my group presentation for Biocompatibility. It went well, and I think if there was a prize for group dynamics we definitely would have won it. Our presentation flowed seamlessly from one person to another with smooth handoffs and slide transitions. The questions and answers were handled by all, with no one person dominating and each person helping out when it was needed. I really think I lucked out in regards to my group members. After all, how many times do you get assigned to a group where you all throw a party to celebrate the end of the project complete with pizza, ice cream, and Tim Tams. Plus I got to actually meet and interact with people who weren't international postgrad students- always a plus as well.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Back home everyone is celebrating Memorial Day and the warm weather and the opening of pools everywhere. Down here its cold, and all we do is get to play pool like we did last night at the Doncaster Hotel. I wouldn't mind it being warm enough to have a real dip right now, I really don't feel like I had a proper summer.
Friday, May 28, 2004
Swiftly fly the years
I went to see Troy this evening with a bunch of people here (Lisa, Cindy, Peter, Joe, Kevin, Gwen) and actually ended up enjoying it more than I expected. Although it wasn't exactly true to the Iliad, I thought it was well done overall. The funniest bit was, after Hector killed Perecleas, Hector basically turned around and said 'no more fighting today' and everyone on both sides just stopped what they were doing and went home. My two major gripes were the fact that the entire siege of Troy appeared to take place over a 3 week span or so, when it supposedly was a 10 year event, and the fact that they used a sunset as a sunrise to make it a pretty shot over the water. Those two events combined to give title to this post.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Cuppa for cancer
This morning was UNSW's biggest international morning tea, hosted by UNSW International. The goal was to raise money for cancer reasearch all across NSW by having a tea this morning, so we were just one of many such events going on. A number of students baked all sorts of yummy things, many from their own countries, and many more came by and at $5 a head got to eat and drink all they wanted. There was also a collection of money to get one brave soul, Andrés, to shave his head. By the end of it we had raised nearly $700 dollars. Photos to be posted shortly, but for now enjoy this one of a happy volunteer.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
When fiction is truth
Just finished reading Executive Power by Vince Flynn after getting it out of the library yesterday. I logged on to amazon to check out when I can expect the next book by him and found that one came out in the beginning of May (at least back in the states), Memorial Day. Earlier I had been reading the news on cnn and their headline news story was about a terror threat for this summer.
From Amazon's book description of Memorial Day:
"It's just seven days before Memorial Day, and the nation's capital is buzzing with last-minute preparations for the unveiling of the magnificent new memorial honoring the men and women who fought in World War II. Despite the hopeful energy of the city, Mitch Rapp senses trouble. A spike in CIA intelligence has pointed to a major terrorist attack on the United States. Now it's up to Rapp to pull out all the stops.
Rapp immediately leaves for Afghanistan, where he leads a special forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into a remote Pakistani village. Their target: an al Qaeda stronghold. Within a subterranean room, Rapp and his team discover a treasure trove of maps, computers, files, and bills of lading for multiple freighters heading to U.S. ports -- all pointing to plans for a catastrophic nuclear attack on Washington, DC."
And from the CNN article:
"Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller will hold a news conference Wednesday amid intelligence that has increased concern over the possibility of a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
The intelligence has indicated that a major terror attack could take place as early as this summer, several U.S. officials said Tuesday.
For weeks, security officials have expressed concern about several upcoming high-profile events, including Saturday's dedication of the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C."
With the exception of the nuclear aspect in Flynn's book, the book description could almost be an accurate portrayal of the current situation back home. It's just interesting that his book coincides almost exactly with what is playing out in America.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Pickin out a book, checkin in, checkin out
Went to the library today and got my library card. It's been a while since I've been to a real library (not a school one housed in a tower). It was interesting though that the library here is located inside a shopping center. Not where I'd expect a typical library, and even though I'd known it was in there, I'd never actually walked in before, and I was shocked at how big it was. It's at the end of the shopping centre on the 2nd floor, and then extends out on top of the shops you can enter from the street, so there was plenty of room for a decent sized collection. So I got a half dozen fun books out to read over the next month. Definitely better for me to do it this way than to buy used books, cause I'd have no way of getting the cartload of books I would buy back home at the end of my time here.
Monday, May 24, 2004
Feeling blue today. And even though you can't see it in that one, my socks and towel are blue too.
I woke up this morning at 6:45 to a girl standing outside shouting "I love you dad. I miss you already. I hope you have the bestest day of work ever. Mwah!"
Despite having just woken up I couldn't help but smile. Was I that cute when I was 7?
Once again it was a night out to celebrate another birthday. Although not as late as the previous one, a marvelous time was still had by all as we helped Joon bring in his 23rd year. Despite presentations and classes, 6 of us made it out to Zellini's at 8:30, me, Ryan, Lisa, Laura, Sam, and Joon. We ordered a bottle of wine (a cabernet merlot shiraz) and picked entrees while shooting off the streamer filled poppers to help celebrate. Dinner for me was a delicious fettuccini with chicken and asparagus in a spiced olive oil with a hint of cream. Really yummy, and the first time I've had asparagus here. It was really thin, and from what I've seen it's always that way here; quite a contrast to the super sized veggies that seem to dominate the shelves here. After the main course we all took a walk over to the dessert section.
A bit of note here, Zellini's is the closest commercial establishment to our house, and it is passed by more or less on a daily basis. Despite frequent statements of intent to go there, and copious amounts of drool lost over the desserts which we stared lovingly at every time we past, we hadn't been there before tonight. Thus, the anticipation over the choice of dessert was somewhat heightened.
Joon picked out a strawberry cheesecake which we topped with a sparkler first, and later a candle so he could make a wish (cause you can’t really blow a sparkler out). I settled on a glazed almond encrusted tiramisu, which was fantastic. While eating it the dessert chef came out and talked to us about the glories of eating a good cake, as compared to a mediocre one, and how it was always better to splurge and get the quality cake. He then went on to compare a good cake to sex with a beautiful woman, followed by a remark that a cheap cake was like having sex with an average woman while holding a playboy magazine up over her body. At this point we were just nodding, but it was a humorous scene, cause he was truly happy about his cakes, and it was just a really nice thing to see, someone so overjoyed about what they do. Even if his metaphors were a bit off, it was refreshing to know that ones job can also be ones joy.
After we finished off the cakes, conversation drifted to the evil scourge that is Breakaway, an imitation Kit-Kat that fails due to a lack of cream between the wafers. It then proceeded onto bridesmaid dresses, and the hassles that girls go through compared to guys. Stories of spandex dresses and see through shoes abounded. Sadly the time could not last forever, and Laura headed over to the bus stop while the rest of us headed home. A wonderful evening, and I’m glad we finally made it over there, even if it took three months a birthday to do it.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
The more people's birthdays that have to be celebrated, the bigger the party. Since three people have had a birthday in the past week, they decided that their party would be on a cruise ship in the Sydney Harbour. Thus, Britta, Simon, and Joe led us aboard the Emerald Star, a historic vessel that does charter tours of the harbour. After picking up Subway with Cindy, we hopped a bus to Taylor Square where we met up with Dylan and Christina, bought a bottle of wine, and walked down to the King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour. At 8pm, the 50 or so of us boarded the boat and were off on a four hour tour. A round of Happy Birthday by everyone, along with a speech from some of the birthday celebraters, dancing to cheesy 80's music, and drinking cask wine, we partied the night away. One of the highlights was the Rockette-style kicking a large group of us did during Come on Eileen. There were also some beautiful sights to be seen, that unfortunately couldn't be captured on film. Guess I'll just have to take everyone on a harbour cruise when they come visit.
Something Important, I don't know
Memorial Day Weekend, 1995. Recollections of this weekend are of Zak Lipman from Kinder Ring coming over, and watching Clerks for the first (and only) time and being really annoyed that it was in black and white, and thinking that something was wrong with the video tape. I was watching it in my mom's room, and she fell asleep several minutes in, which was probably good considering the movie. But something about that weekend is nagging my unconscious mind. Maybe it was just a state of mind from back then, or some recollection of feeling, but I just kept flashing back to that weekend while showering today. Regardless, I like my mind, even if it does try to play little games with me.
Friday, May 21, 2004
The Great Australian Pizza Hunt, Part One
Tonight was the first night of the Great Australian Pizza Hunt. The goal of this mission is to find the best New York Style Pizza in Australia. Searching on google only returns a now defunct fresh pizza importer (don’t ask how they manage to get a pizza across the Pacific and still call it fresh, but maybe that’s why their site is no longer operational). Thus, although New York Style pizza is the ultimate goal, just finding a few good pizza places would be a reasonable 2nd place.
And so Lisa, Christina, Cindy and I went to Cristo’s Pizzera, a lovely little jam packed restaurant on Glenmore Rd. at Five Ways, Paddington (Called Five Ways because it is on a roundabout with five exits). We knew we were in for a treat when we got there and the host told us that they were full and couldn’t accommodate us for half an hour. We were fine with this, but he was overly apologetic about the fact that a number of reservations were made for just that time and went out of his way to tell us just how sorry he was that he couldn’t seat us right away. We left our phone number, and he told us he would call when the table was ready. Since the pizza place was right near Christina’s apartment, she knew what was around and directed us to a little place called “and the dish ran away with the spoon” where the four of us proceeded to devour a large chips with sweet chili sauce (no sour cream though). Just as we finished up the phone rang and we headed on the long journey back to the pizza place (next door). As we walked in a bottle of wine was ripped from our grasp by an over eager waitress, and we sat down at a table with two equal sized benches (shunning the uneven ones next to it). After some discussion 2 pizzas were decided on: Artichoke with eggplant and vegetarian. Although it took some time before the waitress came back to take our order (and even longer for them to bring water glasses), when the 2 large pies came out it was worth the wait. Piled high with toppings, and sporting a crispy crust, the slices were even big enough to fold slightly- not anywhere close to a real New York slice, but still a respectable size. After the wonderful pizzas, we just sat around and talked for a while, as the bill took its time in getting to our table (even when we eventually asked for it).
After that we headed out in search of ice cream, but our long wander only took us past rows of closed art galleries and auction houses along with pricey cafes, although the girls got a kick out of the wine bottle I had stuck in my back pocket. Eventually we decided we could continue in that direction no longer and headed back towards Christina’s place. When we got there a quick conference indicated ice cream was still in the cards, and we headed over to the Mobil station convenience store for some Frozen Magnums (an Australian ice cream bar). My caramel and vanilla ice cream one was delicious and we just sat on a concrete slab and talked about things we wanted to do in Sydney and had, as Cindy put it, ‘one of those nights that you will remember forever.’ It wasn’t due to anything in particular, but it just felt like one of those serene nights where the girls in the 80’s clothing passed by at an unbelievable frequency and we just got to sit back and watch everything. Eventually we went back to Christina’s again and started watching a TV show, ‘The Fist’ which was so bad that we had to turn it off after a little while. At that point we decided we should make our way home, and walked over to Taylor Square to catch the bus back here.
It was a wonderfully fun night, and definitely a good place to head to for pizza. The 2nd chapter in the story should be forthcoming in the next few weeks. I’m not sure how often we will do them, but by the end of the year we should have tried a fair number of pizza places in our quest for the best!
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Weird internet going ons here. For some reason the router we are using no longer wants to send the signal along. I can connect to the cable modem fine, and I can view the router configuration on its own, but the whole putting together of the 2 just isn't working. Much frustration ensues as we are now back to one internet connection at a time. Maybe its something to do with the router power source, guess I'll just have to play with it for a while.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Once again same sex couples can get married somewhere in the US. Oregon stopped issuing same sex marriage licenses on April 20th after a court decision recognized those already given out, but stopped further issuance until a legislative session meets. Now we can only hope that a few more states get on the ball.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Trip report: Wondabyne to Mt Wondabyne
The following is the actual report of the trip as presented to the Sydney University Bushwalkers listserv, written by trip leader Bruce Stafford.
Party: Joseph Pachod, Natalie, Anja Hutschenreuter, Dany, Andrew Lange,Thalia, Shauna Wong, Mike Gray, Sebastian Ernenwein, Bruce Stafford,and three others whose names I've misplaced (sorry about this; can't find the list - email me and I'll make an amendment). Total of 13.
A dozen happy walkers met me at Wondabyne Station from the Sydney train, causing the guard to comment that it looked liked half the train was getting off at Wondabyne.
We set off up the fairly steep path from the station to the top of the bridge, and through the open heath and scrub country which is a feature of Brisbane Water NP. We examined the carnivorous plants growing along the track, warning people not to tread on one, and then descended down to Myron Brook, which despite the lack of rain for the past several weeks was still running. It also gave a cool respite to the very warm conditions of the open track. Thanks to the drought the usually muddier sections of the track had become much less slippery than normal (no leeches, either).
We continued on to Kariong Brook and its crystal-clear pool for a morning tea stop, then it was back up to the top to continue towards Mt Wondabyne, which beckoned in the distance. On the way the walks register was signed on behalf of SUBW.
On arrival on top of Mt Wondabyne (249m) we admired the expansive views of the whole of Brisbane Water and Palm Beach (with the Woy Woy tip still unfortunately obvious), although the Blue mountains were largely obscured by distant haze. An hour was spent here for lunch.
Instead of retracing our steps back to the station, we diverted along the tunnel access track, which goes through open forest, a pleasant change from the open heath. On this track we saw a Glossy Black Cockatoo, a rare and possibly threatened species, in the Casuarina trees (its favourite food).
From the Woy Woy Tunnel entrance we did a bush bash up the hill to the road. A feature pleasantly missing in this section was the usual prickly bush, which had been removed by a bushfire or burn-off in the recent past, and had not yet regenerated beyond a small size.
From there we retraced our steps to Kariong Brook, on the way encountering two mountain bike riders - the only other people we saw on this walk all day - and then back to Wondabyne station at sunset. The effects of the 15km walk over the largely stony tracks of this walk were beginning to show (I have to say that volleys seem to be not as good as harder shoes on this type of walk).
We made it back about 3 minutes before the train to Woy Woy arrived, where the party (except myself) changed to an express train home (showing the wisdom of buying tickets to Woy Woy and not Wondabyne).
A fine walk under clear skies which was enjoyed by all - indeed one of the beginners said she liked the bush-bash!
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Pictures from today's bushwalking adventure to Mt. Wondabyne are up. The full story shall be revealed in good time (like when I can actually see the keyboard)
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Joe Austria is 26 today (Sunday here). That meant a night of mainlining tequila and flatlining cowboys for him. (Too much tabasco Kevin!) The rest of us helped him ring in his second quarter century in style at the Coogee Bay Hotel. Now its off to bed for me and when I get off I'm off to Wondabyne for a walk in the woods with some complete strangers. Mommo always told me to watch out for 'em, but I'll take my chances this time.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Thurdays = Movies
It's Thursday, and that means 2 things usually. One- that I have a test at 6pm for Medical Instrumentation and two, that its movie night at Peter and Cindy's. A bunch of us have been going over there every Thursday evening to round out the week with a relaxing movie and usually a bit of wine. Last week we watched the terribly awful, but funny Shanghai Noon, followed by Identity. Other highlights have been Duplex, lots of old Friends episodes and Paycheck (which was by far the best one of them all). This week promises to be a good one with Snatch up for tonight. Ok, I have to go now.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Out of all the songs I know or have heard throughout my life, I wonder why my mind picked the V'ahavta to play through my head as I was walking home this afternoon.
"This contains Gloy and Suten." -Lisa, who still needs more chocolate to make sense.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Monday, May 10, 2004
The finals schedule is out. Figures that Instrumentation would be in July.
Mon. June 21 in the AM Biocompatibility
Thu. June 24 in the PM Biological Signal Analysis
Fri. July 2 in the AM Medical Instrumentation
This post was supposed to be written about 3 hours ago, but I got here and found all the new things to play with instead. I was going to write about the wonders of our toilet paper here, and the joy of reaching in to the plastic bag that that rolls come in and pulling out a roll with a random sea based print on it. It could be seashells or dolphins, turtles or sharks.
Reflecting back, it might have been better if I skipped mention of it altogether.
On another note, this is my 500th post. I only know that because blogger now lets you see all sorts of statistics for your blog. I'm glad they didn't implement it 2 days later, cause then I would have missed this important milestone.
Some new things
Ok, try out the new comments, and let me know what looks weird/ needs to be changed. Also, if you post a comment and it doesn't show up, just refresh the screen as it sometimes seems to need that. Also, sometimes it appears that they post twice even if you only click submit once. Blogger is working on it apparently. Good timing for me, but sad that all the old comments can't be imported. If you look at older posts they don't have an option to comment yet. I'm working on that slowly, but until blogger gets back to me the only way I can do it is to hand edit every post to allow them. By the time I finish I'm sure there will be a bulk way to do it, so I'm saving my time and energy for now. If you really want to comment on an old post, leave one here and let me know what post and I'll go back and add what I need to. Anything that doesn't work, let me know- there still seem to be some issues with the comments page linking to the right archives and other such things.
Ok, so I tried to post on Mothers Day, but was told that blogger was down. Now it's back up and looks completely different. Plus now I can do comments directly through here, so I no longer have to worry about hosting them myself. There are still a few little kinks that I think they have to work out, but it looks good- a little different than what I'd grown accustomed to, but good none the less.
Saturday, May 08, 2004
I haven't had a homemade quesadilla since probably the end of last school year. They were such a common lunch to have when living at 2205, and it seems odd to be having one again. Although, I probably would have had them at some point since then if it wasn't for a general lack of tortillas in my life. Also, not having a toaster oven makes it seem less trivial, cause I'm using a real oven to make it now. Maybe I'll try making my cheese on crackers in there as well since we are lacking in the microwave department as well.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Dad- Isn't it good to know you once again are numerically 30 years older than your eldest son?
Thursday, May 06, 2004
I've noticed this for a while, but never really thought to question it till now. Why does a search for lange on google produce so many results with just 'lang' in them. No other words seem to drop a silent e in the search and show results for the other one, just my last name. Even for words where there are 100 times more results for the word without the e doesn't ever drop it. (Compare lowe to low). For my name, there are definitely more results without the e, but that isn't what I'm searching for. I only want results with the e at the end, and google just doesn't seem to want to give it to me. I'm more interested in why this is the case than in the results of the search itself. Once again I'll invite people to enlighten me.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
3 tiny shelves
Happy cinco de mayo! Unfortunately this holiday is just not the event it was at home (and if I hadn't thought about it the other day and decided we would cook Mexican food to celebrate than it would probably have passed unnoticed). Fortunately Coles, the Australian grocery store, has a few small shelves at the end of one aisle that has mexican food where we found tortillas, refried beans and seasoning mixes for burritos and guacamole. Then, after our test today, Lisa and I made burritos complete with tomato, lettuce, onion, sour cream, tasty cheese, avocado, salsa and real beef (no kangaroo for a while since beef was on sale and we bought like 4 pounds of it). Cindy also stopped by since we had run into her just before our class. It was wonderful having mexican food again, as I haven't really had any since leaving home and I was starting to miss it. Ryan contributed with the Spanish music and I pretended my bucket hat was a sombrero. To finish off the evening we had some Milo, which is somewhat like NesQuik but doesn't dissolve the same way and stays a bit crunchy. Different, yes and a little weird, but while it doesn't match up in cold milk, I'm sure it would do well as an ice cream topping or dissolved in a cup or hot milk.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
"I used to drink a lot of coffee when I was in the army... I mean the library" -Kevin. In response Lisa and I started laughing to the point where she had to get up so she didn't spit out the water she was drinking all over us.
I realized what was missing from campus today- all the chalkings and leaflets covering the sidewalks everywhere you go. I saw my first chalking here today, a small lettered sign announcing 'The Cat with the Fat' which is this years MedRevue (not that knowing that meant much to me- cause all i thought of was a revue of todays medical literature at first). It goes hand in hand with the fact that it is really the first show type thing I've heard about on campus. Northwestern has so many different things to do on campus every weekend that its impossible to see everything thats going on there, whereas here there's a lack of all things creative (on campus at least). Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are more an international/engineering/business/econ school here than the liberal arts/RTVF/speech (along with the others) that Northwestern is. Either way, I'm excited to see my first on campus show.
Monday, May 03, 2004
Last night was my first experience with a Korean BBQ, thanks to Kevin and Joe. It basically consisted of rice, pork, kim chi (a korean cabbage), and chili paste wrapped in one of several different kinds of lettuce. The interesting part was that the pork was thinly sliced, similar to bacon, and was cooked continuously over the 2 hour dinner on a little grill that went on the table. The basic idea was to take a piece of lettuce, add some rice onto it, then put a slice of the hot pork, along with the cabbage and a bit of the chili paste. And it was outdoors, which would have been really nice except for the fact that the temperature got down to almost 10 (C) which is quite cold when you don't have a jacket on. But the food was wonderful and we all just kept eating until we'd had way too much, because you could always convince yourself to have just one more since they were so small on their own. After eating and cleaning up we all went to Kevin's room to try out the continental cheesecake he had bought earlier in the day. It was drizzled with a rasberry gel and looked really good. When we tried it though, we found it to be the sweetest cheesecake ever made- and pink on the inside. It just didn't hold up to a good new york cheesecake, but we amused ourselves by eating pieces to leave the remaining piece in odd shapes, including an arrow, a mushroom and the number one. We also had chocolate covered pecans made by some bald guy (his picture was on the business card that Joe for with them). Then it was a mint slice from Peter and then off home to get ready for another week of school.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Well since there seem to be lots of comments asking for pictures of people, I present to you, Dylans Party. Captions are lacking on this one mainly cause I didn't know a bunch of the people there and the fact that I just haven't had time to be witty for 60 odd pictures. I'll probably end up going back and adding them later, but for now enjoy and remember that this was every picture that was taken last night, and it ended being a wild party for some. You have been warned.