Archive for February, 2004

It’s ALIVE!

Sunday, February 29th, 2004

After much cursing and aggravated flailing of hands, the last modifications I wanted to make to the MT templates are done! Thanks to my slow, painstaking work (writing code, much like maths, is hard), and Stuart’s contribution, even though he spent a fair bit of time last night trying to distract me. Hey, I can’t speak for you, but personally I find it difficult to concentrate when someone is standing behind me, putting their genitalia on my shoulder and making parrot noises.

In other thoroughly unexciting news, Uni starts tomorrow, and I’m actually feeling pretty happy and excited about it. This hasn’t actually translated to, you know, organising any notebooks or other materials, nor has it produced an early night, but hey, in comparison to my intense apathy of a couple of weeks ago, it’s a good start.

I’m worried about my cat at the moment, because she’s sick and I’m not sure why, and I can’t take her to the vet until tomorrow at the earliest. She’s been moving slowly and seems to be in a lot of pain, but only around her stomach and only sometimes, when she tries to do certain things (or when one of us tries to pick her up, which we’ve quickly learned not to do). I thought maybe she’d gotten in a fight with another cat, but there’s no sign of any bite marks, nor does she appear swollen, as she would if she was getting an abcess. My paranoid brain is starting to think she was kicked or otherwise hurt by a human, and is trying to think of potential culprits on my street who may be in for a firebombing.

Would you trust your timetable to this program?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

So the countdown is on: it’s now less than a week until I go back to Uni. While I’m feeling less dread about it than I have been, I have to admit that I could be a little bit more excited about it. But it’s hard to be excited about something when you’re violently ill (on the upside, I now have intimate knowledge of what sushi looks like when it comes back up. If you can call that an upside). All the same, I’m sort of looking forward to getting back to class; last year was the finest of my academic experience so far, so I’m hoping that continues. I could just be being really naive here, but I’m looking forward to getting back my interest in studying.

What hasn’t helped, though, is Monash University’s WOEFUL web-based subject enrolment system Back in the halcyon days of 2001 when I was but a fresh-faced, eager and promiscuous first year, enrolling in a tutorial for one of your subjects was as easy as wandering around the Menzies building wide-eyed and confused until you finally found your relevant department/s, found a piece of paper with your subject’s name printed on it and wrote your name on the printed-out spreadsheet. Blammo, you were enrolled in a tutorial that was at a convenient time for you (funny how the afternoon ones always seemed to fill up faster than the morning ones), and you could jot it down straight away without having to wait a week to find out what you’d been allocated. What was more, once it got to second semester and you’d started to learn more about your fellow students, you could read a class list and thus avoid ending up stuck with someone you didn’t like for a second semester, like the the guy you were stuck with in first semester who thought the ABC should be shut down because Rage doesn’t play enough Metallica video clips (I wish I was making this guy up. I’m not).

Of course, at some point in the last couple of years, the Arts faculty got sick of being pushed over in the mud and laughed at by the other faculties, so it changed the way it operates and now enrolment is done online. Which just works absolutely brilliantly. Although I’d not had too many problems with it myself, I’d heard horror stories of people being given two tutorials at the same time and not able to change out of them, that sort of thing. But it wasn’t until today that I was given a taste of the Amazing Power of Suck contained by Allocate “Plus”.

I noted, as I was writing my semester one timetable down, that the timeslot I’d picked for one of my subjects had been filled up by another. When I checked the first subject, I found that Allocate had failed to give me a seminar for that particular subject at all, which was somewhat problematic considering it was a seminar-only subject. It also completely bungled my carefully-planned schedule with the excuse that “not all activities were allocated a preference” by me, despite the fact that I’d picked my timetable weeks in advance and had checked it several times to make sure I’d done everything correctly. Unfortunately, the system isn’t set up to give preference to those who enrol early, so I lost my preferred place for all but one of my tutorials even though when I’d enrolled, very few people enrolled in the subject had chosen their preferred timeslots. After I had finally sorted things out, I spent a fair bit of time bitching about it to my friend Liah on MSN, and used the word “crack” rather more than was perhaps called for. In a short summary of the conversation (because no one thinks long, typed-out MSN transcripts are amusing except for the person who posted them and possibly the person they had the conversation with), I labelled Allocate “the cracksmokingest crackwhore that ever smoked crack,” and decided to intimidate it into working for me by pretending to be social services and threatening to take its crack babies away.

Titian fared even worse. She’d been allocated three tutorials for one of her subjects, and none for another. And the system didn’t seem to want her to change out of any of her three tutorials either.

But, you know, at the end of the day my life has been made so much easier by not having to go into Uni to pick my tutorial times, and spend all that time finding the relevant pieces of paper for each of my classes, and inevitably running into people I know and chatting to them, and maybe going somewhere for a coffee. Now as I sit at my computer for ages, swearing and tearing my hair out trying to get a timetable that doesn’t clash with itself, all I can do is thank the clever, clever programmers who made such a wonderful program and have been very quick to fix problems as students have reported them.

Truly, the efficiency of tertiary institutions in Australia is second to none.

My eugoogly

Sunday, February 22nd, 2004

Today at work I had a sudden vision of my own funeral and eulogy. I don’t think this was any goth-teen residue or even a reflection of the fact that I was simultaneously at work and rather hungover (after four beers! I’m getting soft in my old age! Soft, and prone to falling over). No, I think the reason it happened was that my brain likes to take things that have happened recently (say, late last night), and put them into a whole new context.

As a result of that, I had a vision of a priest-type guy (although what priest would reside over the funeral of an unrepentant heathen like me, I don’t know) solemnly intoning the following words:

“Aimee died how she lived: pantsless in public.”

Introducing…the adventures of Hormone Girl!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2004

I’ve not been myself for the past few days. The reason for that being, I’ve been what Kaz Cooke would term Menstrual as Anything. My body seems to have foregone pain this month in favour of an exciting array of hormone-driven emotions such as sadness, inexplicable rage, hopelessness, jealousy, hurt, self-hatred and, perhaps most strangely, a sudden appreciation of the Tori Amos song ‘Northern Lad’, which I’ve always hated (it’s just so insipid. She can do much better).

Rather than spend a few days each month bitching and whining in a thoroughly self-pitying manner, I have decided to create a character who can serve as a conduit through which I air my periodic woes (sorry, that’s the second time I’ve used that pun in the last two days).

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet…HORMONE GIRL, the action herione for our times! She’s sharp! She’s sassy! Thanks to fluid retention, she has tits the size of canteloupes!

Of course, I should have a cartoon drawing of her to keep the more graphic-minded kiddies reading, but since every time I draw a stick figure people say “hey, that’s a nice blob”, it ain’t gonna happen. You’ll just have to use your imaginations. At least have the decency to imagine her some clothes.

Recently in the exciting adventures of Hormone Girl, there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth, for no apparent reason. Yesterday was spent mostly in a bad mood, then later on feeling as though she was ultimately revolting and that no one could love her. Teasing her boyfriend about being an Eastern suburbs boy helped perk her up for a while, but alas! This cheer did not last and soon she was plunging into deeper, uh, depths of self-loathing and despair, brought about solely by her uterus shedding its lining. The night ended with her slumped in a chair in the HorCave (note to self: think up better name for bedroom), piteously whimpering about how nobody loved her. This was quite possibly true, as it was 3:30am and all reasonable, Hormone Girl-loving people were fast asleep.

Today she woke up with less self-loathing and considerably more friskiness, another side effect of her hormone-riddled state, and one we won’t go into because this is a family-oriented blog (and also because the author feels that the number of people reading this who know her in person would probably prefer not to know). She went to the doctor about an unrelated matter, and then rewarded herself for her health consciousness by buying copious quantities of chocolate and baked goods. There have still been several instances of causeless tearfulness, but the chocolate gives Hormone Girl increased superpowers, so she’s doing a little better than she was. There was also consumption of trashy magazine and TV, which apart from further degeneration of brain cells, did no end of good.

Hormone Girl currently feels wimpy and despised, and is looking forward to a further regeneration of her strength through the means of beer and possibly pornography.

Hormone Girl is currently a drastically underdeveloped concept spawned from a pissy mood and a Bad Everything Day, and will hopefully be more entertaining in future episodes, much to the relief of all concerned.

Stay tuned!

My Muggy Valentine

Tuesday, February 17th, 2004

For someone who doesn’t give a flying fuck about it, I actually had a really nice Valentine’s Day. For the first time in at least two months, it was a Saturday I didn’t have to work (although they did try to ring me to go in 15 minutes before the shift would have started, but I accidentally didn’t answer my mobile, and then accidentally took my landline phone off the hook). I slept in after having had a late night rejoicing in the company of my dear friend Leah, and rose slowly and leisurely, relaxing over breakfast and mentally planning the day from when Stuart would arrive. I read the newspaper and was pleased to note that my other boyfriend, Shaun Micallef, made it into the Age’s list of the 25 sexiest people in Melbourne, which was the only part of the list I agreed with; if that bloody silly-coned bimbo from that home improvement show is sexy then I’m the next Australian Idol. Incidentally, Shaun, if you’re reading this, please don’t think I’m stalking you. I drown the housepets of everybody I like, and bunches of dead roses left on your doorstep are just my way of saying “I care”.

After breakfast I set about making Stu’s Valentine present: a kickass mix CD of luurrrve songs. I can assure you there was no sign of ‘Unchained Melody’ or anything by Celine Dion, ’cause I just ain’t that kind of girl. In fact, it has to be said that I’m probably the only girl who’d put Nancy Vandal’s ‘Piss On My Weetbix’ on a love song mix. I’d been planning the mix for ages, however the execution proved a little difficult as something appears to have buggered up my CD writing software, and none of the songs wanted to go on the CD at first. Much swearing and finding of new ways to do things later, I had the CD I wanted, minus a few songs I’d decided to chop at the last minute, mostly for thematic reasons. I was going for the emotion of love, rather than lust which it must be said I’m somewhat more familiar with. So Pansy Division’s ‘Ring of Joy’ got the flick, but Ping Pong Bitches’ ‘I Love You Necrophiliac’ stayed. I thought it was rather sweet of me to avoid the temptation to put the Red Aunts’ very violent ‘Detroit Valentine’ on the mix. Because in all honesty, I don’t actually want to hit Stuart with a hammer until he’s dead. I’m such a great girlfriend.

Once Stu arrived we hung out for a while in my room, then outside in the park where it was very, very hot (stupid forty degree days) and ate grapes and read and talked about nothing and everything, as we are wont to do. Then we went inside again, and napped. We went out for dinner at Zello in Malvern, which was lovely and also air conditioned, which was kind of important at that point. Sometime after dinner we drove to Elwood beach where I paddled and Stu refused to take his shoes off, and small children darted around everywhere. We went for a walk along the path by the beach and noted that every other soppy bastard couple in Melbourne seemed to have the same idea.

We returned home, all sappy and cheerful as well as a tad tired from the heat, but ready to check off the last item from our to-do list, which unfortunately never happened because I got a spontaneous case of cystitis, BECAUSE MY VAGINA HATES ME and doesn’t want me to have any fun, ever.

I stayed up late watching old episodes of Daria and Aarrgh! It’s the Mr Hell Show! which Deirdre found on an old video of hers, while Stu went to sleep and hogged the bed. All in all, it was a good day.

Maybe one of these years, Valentine’s Day will become something I actually give a shit about. Then again, probably not.