Sunday, 31 December 2006

happy new years eve

It's new year's eve. Isn't that exciting. Tonight I get to stay up really late and tomorrow I get to get up really early to get on a bus to go to new york. Lots of people are going out, having parties, getting drunk and doing stupid things. Other people are staying at home with the blankets over their heads until the madness goes away... Which is not me, really. We will not be going out. If we were going up to NY today, we'd be going to some dance with Ben [or staying at home and playing games with Eugene]. However, we're going to be spending the evening with Steven's parents. Since they are both sick, I can't imagine that they'll be wanting to stay up all night. And since I'm also still sick, I don't particularly want to go out. I did hear of a scheme [for those of you in CT] for spending the evening on a boat in table bay. And if I was at home, I'd be doing that. My parents are having the usual crowd over, which is where I was last year. Of course, I had to fetch Steven from the airport that night, and I didn't want to drive [and I'm glad I didn't, it was truly horrendous at the airport!]. My sister, for some unknown reason, is on a farm, in the Free State. Which is not really like my sister. But I'm sure she's having fun with all the little piggies or something.

In other news, Steven and I spent yesterday at the Baltimore Aquarium. It was absolutely fantastic. I don't have anything else to say, except go there. Oh, and the rays seemed to like me, which was cool 'cause I liked them. We saw some of the dolphin show from beneath the water [we didn't have tickets, so we couldn't watch on top] and loads of cool frogs. Unfortunately we missed the sloth, the marmosets and the tamarins in the amazon exhibits. The rest was cool. Like the pregnant shark. You should go, it was great.

The day before was spent in Washington DC. This is different to Washington State, which is on the other side of the country. We did more art galleries - I took him to see the peacock room at the freer and we wandered about the sackler for a little while. I wanted to see the exhibit they had on bibles, but there was an hour long queue to get in, so we gave up. We found some cast iron teapots in the shop there, but didn't buy one because there wasn't a wonderful selection [and I had left mom's paper at home and could only remember that she wanted a low one]. We also purchased some postcards, for 3 select groups in CT. The people who don't live in CT will be getting postcards from NY, because they don't have to get there before I get home.

Our next stop was the natural history museum, then on to lunch. We had sandwiches and some clam chowder soup, which was actually very nice. From there we went to look at the museum of the american indian, but didn't go inside. It's a beautiful building and surrounded by lovely things. It opened around this time last year, and is really well thought out in its design. Apparently the inside is nice too. Next on our stop was the air and space museum. That was very cool. we looked at a few exhibits and then I spent some time in the shop. I found something for me, something for mom and a present for my other cousin. Then, it was back to natural history, which we managed to see everything in because a few exhibits were closed. We came away from there with four or five new books.

We decided on the way home to go out for supper and see a movie. We bought tickets for night at the museum and then looked for somewhere to eat. We started out at Hops, based on a recommendation. I can only presume that the woman had never been there herself. About half the tables were empty, but we were informed that there would be a ten minute wait. When we were seated, we looked at the menu and waited for someone to come and take our order. Eventually one of the assistant cooks came out, covered in food stuff, wandering from table to table, trying to deliver an order. He found the table, but was told that the order was [half]wrong, so went back to the kitchen to check. He came back and told the man that this was his food, but they'd made a mistake and so were only starting on his partner's food now. At this point, we walked out.

We were now a little worried about the time, but the next place we tried had an enormous queue, so we went next door, to Tony Roma. There we had to sit for about 15 minutes before we got a table, but we looked at the menu and made our decision. We told the waitress that we were now a little rushed and she was wonderful. For anyone who ever goes there, her name was Morgan. After we ordered, we got our drinks and then the food was on the table in a mere 14 minutes. She brought us the bill while we were eating, so that we wouldn't have to wait. In the end, we were out of there in about half an hour and had ample time before the movie started. The movie itself was better than I was expecting. It was a ridiculous movie, but fun.

The day before that [we're now back on the 28th, I think], was the day that steven's sister's family went back home. After they left, we went shopping. We found a nice, bright red coat for me, that actually fits. It's not quite what I was looking for, so we're still looking a bit, but it's something. That was also the night that we went to legends. That was great fun, even if it proved what a complete and utter geek I am. We bought games, including one for my cousin, we bought manga and we bought some really pretty dice. Really pretty. I'm looking at them now, thinking about how pretty they are. All bluey-grey swirlyness with silver numbers. I like dice. I like games too. We bought fluxx and gang of four. they are cool games. There was another game that we considered, but the guy told us that it's only really fun if you play with at least 6 people, so we decided against it. We bought two board games as well. One, Tsuro, the way of the path, we've played and is fun. It will be lots more fun with more people. The other is about pirates and you need at least 3 people for it, so we haven't tried it yet...

Thursday, 28 December 2006

phone home

Trying to phone your family at christmas time is always notoriously difficult. Even worse when you're calling a cellphone with little reception. Phil was fine, mom was more difficult. But I guess Phil wasn't somewhere that has no reception... getting onto landlines is easier, as long as the number exists! Who would have thought that getting hold of the grandparents would be so difficult? At least for some of them, you just have to call them twice.

In other news, the little ones are leaving today. So we're staying at home and spending some time with them [except for when we're hiding out phoning and blogging... and chatting over gmail...]. Yesterday we went to a mall and a couple of other shops. It was fun. We went to a restaurant similar to the Spur for lunch, for comparison. It was nice and very much like the Spur. I forget what it was called, but I'm sure Steven remembers. We wandered about the mall doing all sorts of things. We spotted something that I thought might be nice for mom, but didn't buy it. We looked at coats for me and found both coats that fit, coats of good quality and coats that I liked. We did not find one that had all three attributes. We also went to staples. Staples is a wonderful place, full of stationery. It made me happy.

I was less happy the day before [boxing day], when I spent 5 hours vomiting uncontrollably. luckily that subsided eventually. it started with a sore throat, and I still have a sore throat. luckily I'm not the only sick one. other people are sick too. but I was the one that was throwing up...

I don't have much else to say. Christmas was fun. It rained all day. I spoke to Phil and Mom et al down at millers. We had some excitement with the smell of something burning and the sounds of sirens relatively close by, but we never solved the mystery completely... And as for the Christmas lights, we've seen some spectacular places, but most people here are normal and moderate in their decorations.

simon is an evil person. he sent me this link to a word association game, it reminds me of the movie we just watched. it was called word play and it's about nytimes crossword puzzles. I like puzzles, especially crosswrods.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

oodles of kiddie fun

So, Kathy, Alec, Lydia (5.5) and Chloe (2.5) arrived. Chaos ensued, as you would expect with little ones facing strange grown-ups. It's very strange to me that I'm a grown-up, but there it is. I even got to sit at the grown-ups table once at my aunt and uncle's house. that was strange. Phil and I always sit at the kiddies table with our cousins, no matter how old we are. but I digress.

In the morning [the yesterday morning] there was shopping. I went to a target which was weird. I don't know how to explain what it is, so go have a look. We bought loads of clothes. they were cheap, much cheaper than at home. So we got some pants, plenty of tops, a few warm tops [one of which is currently causing me to broil] and a couple of pairs of tights.

then, we came home, kathy and alec had some christmas shopping to finish up. we took steven's parents and the girls to a movie. while they were there we went for a walk in a local nature park, which was wonderful. but while we were in the cars, guess who ended up reading to the little ones? that is correct. it was me. it was fun, though a little tiring. the evening saw lots of playing with them, which was fun. especially when they decided that they wanted to be tacos. naturally there are pictures to be found on steven's blog. not necessarily all of them yet, but some at least...

Friday, 22 December 2006

welcome to america

So, after an flight that was far-too-long, we landed in Dakar. I took my sleeping pill and slept through most of that, including take-off, my favourite part of flying. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep through enough for it to be anything other than another excessively long flight. We eventually landed at IAD [international airport Dulles], in washington dc. Steven's poor parents got up at 4:30 in the morning to fetch us. We took the scenic route through dc to their house in Owings Mills, as far as I can tell, a suburb of greater baltimore.

Day 1 was spent in somewhat of a haze. We arrived at 6am. By the time we got to the house, it was about 8:30 or so. After a nice warm shower, there was a lovely breakfast. Feeling a little more alive, I was given a tour of the house, followed by a walk around the neighbourhood and then the garden. Thankfully steven's mother lent me both a lovely warm sweater and a coat, so I didn't freeze to death.

Then, we went into baltimore, to the lexington market [I think], which was not what we were expecting, as it was almost entirely food stalls. We then went for lunch, to a lovely restaurant called Sotto Sopra. And while I'm sure philly would appreciate links to all these things, I just woke up and can't be bothered. After that we went through the Baltimore basilica. It was really beautiful - especially interesting was the reversed arches underneath the building. The first builder read the plans incorrectly and did not go deep enough, so they had to put in reversed arches in order to support the enormous dome above. They recently did some restoration and while doing that, they dug deeper down there, so that they could have a chapel, as they wanted to originally. There's a picture of some of this on steven's blog.

After that some of us were a little worn out, so we drove back to the house and had a rather lengthy sleep... Which was followed by supper, which included some rather strange rice. It was a purple-black colour and tasted rather nutty. It was very nice, but it was kind of difficult to wrap your head around the fact that it was rice.

Yesterday, Day 2, saw steven and I get up at what we thought was 8:30. Since we were supposed to be leaving the house at 9:15, this was a little distressing to me, at least. Luckily the clock had been set to the wrong time and it was only 7:30. We had breakfast, which included crab cakes, since we forgot them for supper. They were very nice and, surprisingly enough, went quite well with the berries.

Off we went to dc, as steven was meeting a woman at the university there. His parents and I wandered about on the mall. We went to the Freer Art Gallery, which was very cool, filled with Asian art. Also of interest there, was the peacock room - a dining room designed by Whistler to house Leyland's porcelain collection. It spiralled out of control while L was away and so there was fighting over payment, etc. It was utterly fascinating and if you're ever in dc, I suggest you go see it. Next was lunch, which found me hungrier than I thought. we ate at a lovely little cafe beside a frozen piece of water that had people ice skating. Then it was off to the National Art Gallery, which was having an exhibition of some of Rembrandt's prints. we also looked in the National Gallery's east building, which was for more contemporary and modern items. Then we met up with steven. Just before we went home, we stopped by the Vietnam Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial - both of which were kind of depressing, but certainly worthwhile to visit.

In the evening, we went out to another restaurant, this one a little closer to home. It was called Linwoods and was quite lovely, particularly since we were in an area that was not very crowded. Unfortunately steven's mother was not feeling well and so did not join us. We had delightful food with lively conversation of scientific matters. When we returned, we found that steven's mother was feeling much better, so she joined us as we strung lights upon the christmas tree.

Today looks like being a more easy day - steven's sister and her family arrive at BWI [Baltimore Washington International airport] this afternoon, from where they live in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We might do some shopping, so that I don't have to spend the entire trip wearing steven's mother's clothes [after all, what will I do when we go to New York?]. So, with that, I'm going to shower and have breakfast.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

camps bay

Hmm... Sally arrived, we did some work at the museum, we went shopping. there was a lot of shopping. And even though I wasn't going to buy anything, I did. I bought a beautiful little dragon from element [which I love!] and three tops. they're all the same, but I really liked the top, so I bought it in three different colours. Afterwards, we went home and then Steven came home and we went down to the pool and relaxed a bit. Then we took Sally home and went to my parents. First up was mom's office party, followed by supper at the cape town fish market. it was fun, though I was very cold and not feeling so well.

Saturday saw us taking mom and dad off to the airport so that they could go off to Joburg, to see Phil. We then went to pick some stuff up at the museum which involved going off to the art museum across the way, to see a beautiful exhibit, titled invoice, there were also two rather interesting ones about clothing and childhood. From there we went home and spent the day cleaning and packing. It took a long time. We, of course, need to repack everything now, but it's okay. We've got just about everything. In the evening, Sally came over. We played skip bo, had a wonderful supper cooked by Steven, and watched two movies. We watched Ice Age 2, which was very silly but quite fun all the same, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I hadn't seen in ages and is always fun.

Today we got up very early. Well, I did at any rate. We all went off to camps bay because my cousin william was filming there. it was all about models and volleyball - the point, however, is that he's being cameraman and will be doing the editing and it's going to be on supersport at some time. Once Steven had met him, he went home to do some more cleaning, pick up the rest of my plants and to meet a friend there. Sally and I spent the morning at the beach - she swam a few times, but mostly we sat around being blasted by sand. The drive home was an experience, but it's all good.

Now, I'm sitting at home, relaxing. I'm not thinking about how I need to do the repacking, or about the fact that we leave on tuesday. not even a little bit. I'm going to do some sudoku puzzles, maybe watch some mindless tv. perhaps I will put some of dad's music onto the iPod that I've adopted now that steven has a new one... I will worry about repacking and so on tomorrow. We'll also be fetching mom and dad tomorrow evening.

So, perhaps this will get more interesting from now on 'cause chances are the next time I come this way will be after I'm in America. it might be a while too...

Friday, 15 December 2006

I have a Sally

So, I have a Sally. She arrived on wednesday night, which was when I got my first christmas present. It wasn't from her, it was from Marga. So I can't tell you what it was, 'cause there's one on its way to Joburg and she shouldn't be told before she opens it. And I do mean open it - this year we're getting more than just envelopes. And I got stuff from New Zealand from sally - a tiki bookmark [a scary embryo-type thing that gives good luck or something], some other stuff and a greenstone pendant symbolising overcoming life's challenges and so on.

So hopefully that'll cheer Philly dilly [you're a cucumber... I'm going to eat you!] up a little. No doubt when mom goes she'll be taking Pickle-licks as well. Speaking of the mom and dad - it's their 27th wedding anniversary! can you believe it? I can, actually. Good thing we're going out for supper tonight, even if Phil's the only one who remembers. Dad might've though, phil didn't say anything about reminding him...

So, I'm done at the museum, quickly with sally's help and now we're going shopping ... 'cause she needs stuff. We're spending the weekend at my parents 'cause they're going up to Joburg. So I'll see more of sally. and we've got to pack because we leave on TUESDAY! And my cousin, William is down here filming stuff at camps bay - so maybe one of those relatives will finally get to meet steven... it's sally's first meeting with him too...

Oh well, I'd best be going...

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

finally

yay! the museum's internet is finally working properly again! There was none on Monday. I've had email and other stuff all day. Now I finally can get in here! Isn't that exciting? It certainly is for me, but it might not be for you!

So ... what has happened... simon and adrianna came to visit and it was fun. we had four chairs. and we played games. first we played girl genius, which was fun once you got the hang of it. then we played gang of four which took me longer 'cause all the poker stuff is complicated and I don't really understand it... saturday happened. clearly nothing important happened because I don't remember it at all. then there was sunday and we went present shopping. that was fun. especially since we were at the market down the road. I very nearly didn't go because someone was very tired and sleeping in the middle of the day and got rather cranky when someone else decided that she should wake up. next up came monday, which involved work. and then roleplaying. oh and the milk tart crisis, which was finally resolved yesterday. roleplaying was much fun - especially with the middle-aged woman hitting on my little 'brother'... she's probably twice his age! grrrrr.... sadly I don't get any more until I come back. yesterday was there, which I lazed away - I was going to do some writing, which I did, but only in the evening, after I'd been abandoned. We did swim though, which was nice.

So, to today... I got into my email, which was nice. I emailed a couple of people. nothing very exciting... In a week, I will have arrived in the US ... well, if my memory serves me correctly we finally leave the airport at 6am their time, so I don't know what time it'll be there, but there we'll be. Speaking of travellers - Sally left NZ at 7am this morning [which was actually late yesterday afternoon] and will be arriving in Joburg in about an hour. Just a few short minutes after I finish belly dancing, she will be in Cape Town. Isn't that exciting? I bet she's excited. I'll be seeing her on Friday.

In other news, I'm very cranky. CRANKY. very much so. which means that I have nothing interesting to say and even if I did I probably wouldn't tell you.

Friday, 08 December 2006

Chairs of Happiness

So, where was I last? I was working. So, I did all my work and then I went to belly dancing. It was fun. I like belly dancing. Particularly when Tenille decides that our class is the belly sweat class. I liked belly sweat...

Anyway, after belly dancing, there was sleeping and then it was Thursday. It started off slowly, I was going to sleep a bit late and then do some work once steven had gone to work. of course, he didn't go to his meeting, so he was still there when I woke up. then we had a small discussion about all the things that we need to do before we go... which resulted in him somehow talking me into going out at once to outer limits and scoop. so, we went off to outer limits in the rain. there we saw adeeb and went shopping. I was partly shopping for myself and partly for my cousin for christmas... unfortunately I did not find anything for her, so I shall have to look for it in america. I tried to get mom to go there, since she would have been paying for the gift, but she didn't like that idea very much and I wanted to go myself, but was finding it very difficult to motivate myself to go. I did buy myself [courtesy of simon and adrianna, who are wonderful people] a very pretty d10 and death: the high cost of living which was very pretty and I liked it. we then went to scoop where we bought chairs. there were some that were cheaper, but I like these ones better. and they're a little bit more comfortable. then steven buggered off to work and I took the chairs home and unloaded them ... in the rain! It wasn't very much rain, so I didn't get too wet.

The next step was to head off to Marga's for lunch. so off I went and there was mom, to my lasting surprise. she had told me on wednesday that she wouldn't be there. megan and kiri were there as well, I don't know where selan was - I presumed he was off with a friend or playing soccer or something. anyway, we fed the fish, which was fun and tried to explain to gummy where the fish were - but every time he moved to where we told him he'd be able to see the fish from, the fish moved somewhere else! eventually they were swimming in the middle though, and he could see them. then megs, kiri and I played skip bo - we played three times and we each won once. isn't that nice and fair? we had lunch while we were playing and it was a fun day. then I went home and read death and ate lots of biscuits.... the rest of the day was spent by me not working...

So now, we come to this morning. we started it by going to indofurn to look for the library chair that is going to make up our set of four... but not only did they not have it in stock, but the price has gone up quite a bit... so now we're at the museum and I'm hoping that I'll manage to catch sarah in her office soon. I need some labels from her and I need a little direction... unfortunately sarah is very busy and has millions of meetings all the time and so is very difficult to pin down! otherwise, simon and adrianna are coming to visit this evening, which is quite exciting.

Wednesday, 06 December 2006

exactly so much

exactly one week till sally arrives. exactly two weeks till we arrive in the us... many things seem to happen on belly-dancing nights. which, I'm pleased to say, my sister has taken up again. since she's the one who started it all and then buggered off to joburg.

in other news, I have very little to say. I went to my game and it was fun. Particularly the Yodo-kun and the biwa interlude.

I am currently not reading anything exciting. Well, I'm reading my LotR that steven gave me. it's very pretty.

Yesterday I stayed at home and... finished updating sarah's register, did some reading for my masters ... and not much else. then steven came home and we went swimming 'cause it was hot. and then on the way back upstairs, we met up with lynne, who told us a lovely story about how she'd been burgled exactly four weeks ago and how there had been three [3!!!] burglaries in the building that day. lovely. why aren't all the nosy old women who live there paying attention?

and now I've run out of things to tell you, but I must write myself a list of things to do.

Monday, 04 December 2006

Monday, Monday...

IIRC, that's the name of a song. but I might not.

otherwise, there's not that much to say. I'm at work. I'm updating Sarah's register. It's going very slowly. I've been doing it ALL morning...

For some reason, I'm very sleepy, but I don't know what it is.

anyway, I went off to the funeral on friday and as I was joining the m3 from that nasty area around the hospital, a red car did a very naughty lane change in front of me. due to the traffic I was quite close behind said red car for quite a while and I noticed that the occupant of the back seat looked an awful lot like david seaward. who, one would think, would have been at work at that time... so I was confused.

the funeral was very much a funeral. and val was only a few months younger than my grandparents, actually. she was also catholic so the funeral was quite long and quite religious. her children's words were quite moving, however.

that night steven and I watched the extended edition of RotK. I enjoyed it, except for the bit with the spider, which I did my very best not to watch. it went on for ever. saturday morning saw steven climb to the top of devil's peak while I stayed in bed. then... we went shopping and I have new pants. this is because it's very difficult to find pants that fit me [and aren't from the children's department] without needing to be taken up. so when we do, it's very exciting!

saturday was apparently very busy. having found food for to eat this week, we went home to throw it all in the fridge and then head out to the beach for one of his friend's birthday celebrations. then we left, he was dropped off at home and I went on to mary-anne's. we were going to go out for coffee, but she had just received a new dog [a doberman-great dane cross], named Jordan, so I went there. he was very sweet and [most importantly] didn't knock me over.

otherwise... we finished watching melancholy on sunday, which was nice. and now I must watch it in chronological order...

so, today it's back to work and then to home and then to play my game. which will be fun. I look forward to it... of course, I'm not entirely sure what we're in the middle of right now. Will have to revise before I head out there...

Friday, 01 December 2006

She's back!

who's back, I hear you ask? why, sarah is back. she is an important archaeological person. and now that she's back I can get back to working properly. why? well, for a start now that both she mark are around, it'll be easier to find one of them to get into the store. also, she can update her register from mine [which is going to take a very long time] and we can accession that box on the other end of my desk that's been there for months. accession means to log it into the system, basically.

in other news, today is tiina napoleon's 24th birthday! happy birthday tiiina napoleon! and yes, her name has been disguised such that only she and I and possibly one other person will have any idea who she is. not that I'm expecting her to read this...

the museum got in a whole bunch of boxes today, which is where sarah and mark are at the moment. so I don't know when we'll be updating the register... hopefully not too much later as I am going to a funeral this afternoon. val casserley [valerie ann harrison] died. she's not a relative, just an old family friend. and pretty old too, just a couple of years younger than my grandparents. so mom and I are going to represent the family this afternoon. for those of you who have any idea what I'm talking about - she's the one who owned the house next door at miller's, before it was sold to the guest house people.

also it is only two weeks [less than, in fact] till sally arrives! I can't believe it's so soon! and just less than another week after that, we're off to america! how very strange. time goes very quickly. pretty soon it'll be tomorrow!

and so I think I've run out of things to say...