Wednesday, 28 February 2007


The only possible way to describe an experience I had yesterday, is surreal. While I would like to say that this woman only came up to my shoulder, I'm fairly sure that the top of her head was at eye-level. But it was so very strange to be walking around talking to someone, surrounded by enormous centrifuges, constantly looking down. I realise that the rest of you do it constantly to me, but I've never done it before and it's so very, very strange!

Anyway, so we had a nice long chat about the centrifuges and what I needed to know and what she needed to know and when things would happen and how and so on and so forth... Ian located the sieves for me - a large variety of different sizes... unfortunately the mesh I have appears to be 25 microns, so that's a bit of a problem.

Duncan came up on campus yesterday, to visit ... we wandered over to Lara's office and ended up discussing the options of using miller's for LARPs, which I'd personally love to do. She seems keen, so hopefully it'll happen.

Not much has been going on otherwise ... Button and I watched Brick last night, which was a lovely movie about the criminal underworld at a high school. If only the people didn't mumble... Button tells me that for him the language was very jarring the first time he saw it, as modern high school kids tend not to speak in 40's slang, or any of the other ways that the actors spoke. I didn't notice though, so it was okay.

Belly tonight, game tomorrow, philly on friday...

Monday, 26 February 2007

and now for the 10 micron mesh sieve with rim...

The problem with taking on a project that has been thought of for years and not had anything at all done in the last long while ... means that no one knows where anything is. With the possible exception of Ian, but since he's as easy to get a firm grip on as a million tiny drops of liquid mercury rolling across the floor, it just makes my life difficult. Luckily, he has email.

In other news, there was a weekend. Yesterday was a good day. I made progress on my wordsearch series [which is being made with Ms. Bach in mind...]. I wandered down to the market with Button [we haven't been since we got back] ... I did very little. Saturday was another lazy day, that culminated in a second journey into Obs. We went to see Duncan, and a bunch of other people that I haven't seen in a while [including Marcia!]... it was lots of fun and a few of us ended the evening at Simon and Adrianna's. Unsurprisingly, Simon and Adrianna were there, as well as Neil and Mr. Sharpe, who managed to lock his keys in his car...
Friday saw Button's first ever trip to Obs - we went to the CLAWparty, though not for very long as we were both quite tired.

The truly surprising event of the weekend [to me, at least] was when Hendri came over and told me to look at Erica's left index finger... I was very confused until Button suggested that perhaps he meant her ring finger. So, they are engaged and there is to be a wedding once Erica's handed in her dissertation... but there is to be a celebratory party sooner.

Aside from that, there is not much of interest happening, though it appears that this coming week and weekend are going to be just as busy as the one just past...

Roleplaying tonight [I'm so excited! I think I might like it better than LARPs!], hopefully I can get away in time to get a decent amount of sleep before I get up to meet someone on campus about the ultracentrifuge for my samples. And, roleplaying on Thursday! Much excitement! A two-session module [or something to that effect] with Conrad. It will be Unknown Armies, which I've never played, but neither has Amy, so I don't feel quite so awkward.

Friday, 23 February 2007

So confused...

I think today is Friday... well, I'm fairly certain that today is Friday. I have a lot of things to do today. At the moment I'm awaiting the end of the honours module, so that Judy wanders into her office [I hope] so that I can ask her some questions. And then I'm going to need to go and fetch some liquid nitrogen. Which I don't really want to do, for some reason.

Anyway, this weekend looks set to be rather busy - there's the CLAWparty tonight, which I'm actually considering going to for the first time in a long time. Which, for that matter, I actually want to go to for the first time in an even longer time. And which looks like it might be an actual possibility as Button is considering accompanying me - I wasn't really wanting to wander about Obs alone. Then, tomorrow night, I'll get to see Duncan again, also in Obs. But since Button's never met Duncan and I'm really very fond of Duncan, that will be good.

Next weekend looks set to be just as hectic! Phil and Whatsit are coming down from JHB... So there's dinenr with the whole family [well, the whole immediate family] on Saturday and then a the obligatory tea party to see the littles and the oldies on Sunday. Of course, it's doubling as Meggle's birthday tea, since she's just turned 15 [and probably twice my height by now... grrr...] Button and I are also trying to fit in movie viewing with Simon, Adrianna and a couple of other people... let's hope that gets well organised.

There are always so many things that I want to say, and then I get here and I don't remember any of them and mutter on about inconsequential stuff... as it is, I've run out of things to mutter quietly about.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Too much chatting...

Oh dear ... all I seem to do these days is chat. Simon was my most recent unwitting victim. I'm not going to tell you who the first was though... although, technically I suppose it was duncan, which makes simon third on the list... all with different things though, so they can't compare notes. at least, I'm quite sure that what simon had heaped upon him has not been shared with anyone else ... except button of course. Anyway, I'm so busy chatting that I can't find the time to write my blog ... how very sad.

I'm currently preparing to mill some samples. And I don't know what to do with them once I've done that... at the moment I'm waiting a little bit [and chatting] before I go find out how to switch offf the freeze drier. Judy neglected to mention that to me yesterday and Ian's not aroudn this morning to show me... thank god for Mariagrazia.

Conrad is dangling a two-session module in front of me and I am capitulating... especially since it's on a thursday and button's never home on a thursday...

Too much chatting! I can't keep up!

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

slightly less happy tuesday

I missed yesterday's seminar because I was using a bandsaw. You know, those things that butchers use to cut through meat and bone. I was using it to cut through bone.

Anyway, there was roleplaying. Ishie [me] got a short lecture from Kamenosuke [simon] about why exactly he's supposed to be in front of me. We got home, the swords were unhappy. Yashamaru [lucas] and Nagataka [sean] went off to fetch Keiko from the village. Then I got another lecture from my dead father. All went well, however, until the cranky ghost came back and started throwing things. Kamenosuke managed to reopen his wounds with a writing desk, much to my annoyance. I very happily forgave him for 'not fulfilling his duty' since he didn't give me another lecture for going on ahead. To be fair, he was unconscious at the time.

More importantly - do you evr find yourself talking to someone you don't know very well? And then you tell them things that you wouldn't tell the people closer to you? Why do people do that? I must stop chatting on gmail, I'm sure it's unhealthy.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Happy Monday

I like Mondays. I always have. It's easy to be happy on a Friday. It takes some sort of skill to be happy on a Monday. Today, however, was unusually challenging for me. It started off by waking up alone. I presumed that this meant that I'd slept through Button saying goodbye and was a terrible person. He was just hiding, actually, and came and woke me up a bit later. Then, we had to leave in half an hour in order not to be late. This was good, 'cause I'm prone to panic in the mornings ["we haven't done this, we need to do this later..."]. Of course, then we had to wander around town, trying to find parking. This caused a large amount of consternation. However, we did eventually find some and it wasn't too much of a walk [otherwise we might as well park at home]. The shuttle came quickly and I had a nice chat with one of the guys I met when the shuttle took forever to arrive a couple of Fridays ago.

And, of course, there's rolepaying tonight. Yay. I am excited!

So ... what have I done lately. On Friday, Button and I went to see Truth in Translation at the Baxter. It was well worth seeing, all about the truth commission. I think it's a completely different experience for someone like me, who didn't watch the truth commission, someone who did and someone who actually experienced the things it talks about. And quite possibly for foreigners as well. If you want a critic's real opinion, go to the real review, where he'll eventually post on it. [sometimes that link works, sometimes it doesn't, don't blame me, just try again later.]

Saturday saw the house get [mostly] cleaned, and then it was off to mom and dad's for supper. We went off to Jonkershuis, at Groot Constantia, for mom's birthday dinner. There was more cleaning yesterday, aside from which I did next to nothing... We watched the second episode of Read Or Die ... we're having trouble deciding whether or not it's fun and entertaining, or just plain silly. Well, it's certainly entertaining, or we wouldn't still be watching it, the rest remains to be decided on.

Happy Actual Birthday, Mom.

Friday, 16 February 2007

we shall see

I had a hard day yesterday. I was so excited on Wednesday, when the car seemed to be fixed. I'm far more cynical now. The car seems to be fixed [again] and it has lasted over night, so I'm hopeful that it will continue to stay fixed. It's entirely possible that such a thing could happen.

Anyway, on Wednesday, it was valentine's day. In celebration, Button and I took a taxi home, rather than walking across town. We also watched Shinobi which was fun. Until the end bit. I didn't approve. It was not a happy movie. It was a very good, very pretty movie. But it was not a happy movie. It was not the right movie for that day.

Yesterday the car got fixed in time for me to go to dancing, where I saw an Amy. It was only on Wednesday that we discovered [through Conrad] that we'd both been doing dancing with Tenille for a very long time and yet had never managed to see each other there...

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

plodding along

I started this morning, by sleeping. It was good. I like to be asleep in the mornings. When it was time to get up ... I stayed in bed a bit longer. That was nice, it's been a while since I did that. Then, I got up and phoned the AA... When the guy eventually arrived, he told me that the battery was flat and that that's all that was wrong. It wasn't behaving like the car did last time it had a flat battery, but he must have been right, because he fixed it. And I just spoke to my father. He tells me that my grandmother has dinged the white car. I'm utterly thrilled. I'm beyond thrilled. I'm so thrilled I don't know what to do with myself.

Otherwise, I had a nice day doing nothing on campus. I met Guen, we had lunch together and chatted and so on. It was really nice to see her again. We came and wrote down some chemical formulae, then we went to the chemical store. The woman wasn't there, but I think that's 'cause they're having some huge deliveries. We hung out at the CLAWstand for a bit. I think I quite like the new people. They're not really new, but since they arrived at a time when I didn't want to see anyone, they're new to me.

And, since it is valentine's day, there's no belly dancing tonight. Which reminds me - happy valentine's day.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

slightly appeased

I had a long and cranky rant, but I have been slightly appeased by my free coke and some time spent at the CLAWstand [it worries me when people I don't know say "Andrea? Oh I've heard that name..." and then refuse to elaborate. They always say it's nothing to worry about but I don't believe them]. The little bit of time spent changing the defatting solution helped. Ian's a bit of a whirlwind at times, but he's very helpful and knows where everything is. I like him. It helps that he's friendly.

So. I was roleplaying last night, as usual. I'll talk more about that later, but for now we'll skip to the end of the evening. Sean wasn't there and Lucas had to leave early, so it was just me leaving late. I went to my car. Not the nice happy white car. No. A brick fell off a truck on to my grandmother's shiny new car and so she has the nice white one till hers is fixed. So Button and I have that evil red thing. It was fine for days. It was fine, in fact, until last night. It did not want to start. Until Simon kindly offered to fetch his car to try and jump start mine. Once he'd gone to get his car, the worthless, contrary contraption decided to start. I arrived home safely. This morning, after too little sleep, Button was unsurprised to find that the car wouldn't start. I was surprised, but it's not a difficult thing to do. So, Button and I [already late, I might add] decided to walk... There is a reason why we weren't using it in the first place. Although, the nice white car does have a tendency to refuse to start for Button.

Back to roleplaying... Nagataka [Sean] was sick. Kamenosuke [Simon] was injured. Clearly he does not understand that he should stay away from geisha. They're trouble. To be fair I would have probably been injured if he hadn't put himself in front of me, but as I understand it, that's what he's supposed to do, while I do cast spells from behind. That's how we trained, anyway. Yashamaru [Lucas] ran off after the geisha and injured her. We weren't there, but he lost his hinges and started muttering [or yelling, depending on how you look at it] about the darkness and trying to set everything on fire, including some poor injured ronin who probably didn't deserve it. While Nagataka and Yashamaru were indisposed in the Inn, Kamenosuke and I executed some criminals. Well, two of them took poison and I watched Kamenosuke execute the other. Then we spent a couple of days watching bodies be dug up out of the orchards. It was a trying time. I blame the geisha.
It was a lot more complex at the time, but this is the simple, completely unbiased and totally objective summary.

I am now cranky. I want to go home and sleep and eat biscuits. Or, perhaps, sit at the CLAWstand and smile at people as they go by. I do not want to go to the museum and do work. I do not want to walk home. I want to crawl into bed and hide from the world. At least until I've had a little bit more sleep, some food and am much less cranky. One might argue that the CLAWstand is not the best place for someone like this to be, but we have a reputation to uphold...

Monday, 12 February 2007

time for a change

The defatting solution needs to be changed, so here I am obnoxiously early. I bumped into Charlie on the Shuttle, so I had a nice chat with him. Otherwise the department is pretty empty. I might wander down to the claws stand later on, see if it's worthwhile to give them money.

In other [way more exciting] news, today is Button's first day at SAHRA. That is the South African Heritage Resource Agency and very important to us archaeologists. Hopefully he'll have stuff to do, and more importantly, hopefully he'll leave there in time to fetch me from the museum so that I can get to roleplaying on time. Or half an hour early, which is what 'on time' seems to mean.

On Saturday Button and I went to see 'Everybody else is f**king perfect'. It was fun. I enjoyed it particularly because a girl I did drama with in high school was in it. Unsurprisingly she was the best of us all - not even Debbie could dampen her ability. Button and I are having some trouble working out exactly what the message behind it all was [and it certainly had one, we're just not sure what it was]. I also got to meet Brent, who is a reviewer of such things and is friends with Andrew and now Button.

Sunday saw a day of games with Simon, Adrianna, Neil and Kevin - who I bumped into on campus last week, much to my surprise. I don't know why I was surprised, but I was. Anyway, we played lots of games and had fun. We even had to break out the zombie dogs. It was cool. I particularly enjoyed Kill Dr. Lucky once I got the hang of it. It took a little while [though nowhere near as long as Gang of Four], but I'm sure it'll stick now.

And I'm very sorry to say that there's no more belly sweat. I'm quite upset about that. But it can't be helped. There's still dancing though, so that's something.


Apparently Ian changed it for me on Sunday and I can just leave it alone until tomorrow... Oh well.


After much searching I finally found the CLAWstand. And I signed up. I couldn't help myself. They're tucked out of sight, amongst [surprise, surprise] all the religious societies. But if you're looking for them, you'll find them. And I'm in CLAWmarks, a number of times. It was quite shocking.

Friday, 09 February 2007

stinky bones, in the rain

After a long night of little sleep, off went Button and I to the post office. His parents had sent a package - though until we had collected it, we had no idea. Then we went off to the butcher. The femur was cut up and we went off to the museum. I left Button there and went to Hiddingh. The shuttle that left South Stop [upper campus] at 9:20, probably should have arrived at Hiddingh at about 9:45. I arrived at Hiddingh at about 10:15 and yet still managed to catch that shuttle. Why? Because it didn't arrive until 11:45. Thank you, parliament.

Once here, I popped the marrow out of the middle of two of my pieces, scraped off the membranes and put them into defatting solution. And there they will stay until I change it on Monday... So now I should be busy with papers, but I forgot to bring them with me. I could go home, but I don't want to leave too early. So I shall stay here and find things to amuse myself with.

Thursday, 08 February 2007

getting started

Oh the excitement! I thought I'd have nothing to do, but I was wrong. My bone needs to be cut up and then defatted. Though John said to just use a hacksaw, Judy suggested taking it to a butcher, as I'd probably have difficulty sawing through fresh bone. I'm inclined to agree with her. Then I must defat the bone. While doing that I can check that I have enough of all my chemicals. This weekend I shall have to head back home briefly, to pick up my lab coat and our other plant. I need to go through the papers and find the recipes for the various solutions and see how much of everything I'll need.

Not much else has been going on - it was definitely much easier to do belly dancing immediately followed by belly sweat than to do the one on Tuesday and the other Wednesday. Tenille suggested that it was because I was warmer for my second class. I think it was because I wasn't already sore by the time my second class came around, just tired. Although, it's been a long time since I've been to class [and longer still since I've done belly sweat], so maybe it'll get easier.

Otherwise, Katherine is very busy setting up some storage space for her stuff in the main lab, Grazia is busily writing away. Philip seems to be helping Katherine now, not so long ago he was busy with some figures. I have no idea what Riashna's up to, but she's doing something... I think I'll go home early, to start my bone defrosting, but I've got plenty of other things to do in the meantime...

Wednesday, 07 February 2007

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 more....

Tenille the Torturer has come back into my life and I'm overjoyed. Last night was belly sweat. Tonight it's actual belly dancing. I was pleased to see that I've lost neither my stamina, nor the ability to do impossible movements very quickly. Of course, it's not the same as doing the dancing and then the sweat class. Of course, having the same music and doing different moves is quite disconcerting as well. It was very nice to see everyone again, well, the grand total of two that I knew there. It was sad not to see Jackie, but that's what happens when you have kids. Hopefully she'll be able to come back someday. And hopefully I won't have to give it up for my masters. And what will I do about it if I leave the country one day? I might have to actual practice by myself...

In other news, Sally sent me some pictures of a recent wedding that she attended. Maid of honour, no less. The lady in question is Ann, who we were at school with, the gentleman beside her, now her husband, Darrell. Where the brownies came from, I'm not really sure, but Ann's always been involved with that sort of thing. I particularly like this one with all the little bubbles... much better than rice or flower petals. I'm waiting for pictures from sally that she took, hopefully I won't be waiting too long. And maybe, if I'm reallly lucky, there'll be one of her that I can put up here.

In other news, they're attempting to redate some material. And apparently it's in a little bit of a mess due to a number of issues. Which means that it might get added to my list of things to do on top of the Grine stuff. But that's going quite well. It'll be going a lot better by the time I stop writing here and go and do some work. But since I did 5 hours yesterday, and I'm supposed to be working 10 per week, I figure I have some time to inform you of recent events.

Tuesday, 06 February 2007

I was wrong, and I can admit it.

It is not that the ITS department hates me, or is trying to make my life difficult in any way. Amazing as it may seem, it's not their fault my password wouldn't work. It is possibly their fault for not saying "You are clearly an idiot with no real comprehension of how the system works - have you checked the context to make sure it's on 'students' and not 'staff'?" I'm willing to concede the idea that I'm smarter than them since I figured it out and they didn't, but that's not the point.

In other news, I now have nothing to do here and should go back to the museum and do some work there. Hopefully Sarah will be able to pay me soon. Also, hopefully I will be able to get all the boxes done before Fred Grine pitches up on the 15th. Well, not all the boxes, just the ones that he wants to look at. Unfortunately I was having trouble saving labels when I was there this morning, so it doesn't look like I'm going to have a fun afternoon...

Roleplaying last night was fun, even if poor Kamenosuke doesn't know how to conduct himself appropriately around worthless, fawning young females [and some not-so-young ones, for that matter]. It was nice to have Nagataka returned from illness. He leaves a huge gaping hole of zealous fundamentalism wide open when he goes away. Aren't we lucky that he found someone to share his blinding passion. And, for that matter, it was nice to have a reasonably spirit-free session for a change. Although, I can't be sure whether I prefer mild exasperation at spirits or righteous indignation on Kamenosuke's behalf.

Button has buggered off to Geelbek with Andrew today. Someone's digging a swimming pool, by hand, over three days, and they've gone to check out what's happening, since it's right next to their site. Hopefully they won't be gone too long.

Monday, 05 February 2007

back at uct

Everything looks funny on this computer. I'm used to the mac. I'm not used to having a separate keyboard and mouse.

I don't know what to do with myself. I didn't manage to log in. I am confused. Perhaps there is a reason why it wouldn't work, but I don't know what it is. It's hot in here...

Grazia's arrived, so I'm not alone anymore and we've moved the fish tank off my table, which is apparently going to be replaced at some time or another.

In other news, last week was a hectic week of registering and other stuff. Perhaps I should go down to scilab D and speak to the guy there, assuming that they're available.

There is a cow femur in the freezer. Mom got it for me from the butcher - he told her it was a tibia, but he was wrong. And Judy says that parts of bones would be fine. Except I have a whole one. Well, I can learn how to sample or something... And I have to fit in time to work at the museum. And I forgot to bring paper with me today...

We had a fun weekend though. On Friday we went to the Intimate Theatre and saw Kissed By Brel, which was fun. Saturday I went to visit Marga and Gummy with Mom. Then Button and I went off to Simon and Adrianna's for an evening of games with them and Kevin and Neil. We got home at 5. It was fun though. Yesterday was a day of sitting around and not really doing anything...