Saturday, October 20, 2012

Starting Term 4 Right

Week 2 of Term 4 is now over!

The good news is Becca and I both got 2 days of work this week, which means money in the bank! It's so relieving to be back at work and making money again, and so fun to be teaching again.

Monday and Tuesday we didn't work, so Becca decided that we should start a workout routine. I think it stemmed from me mentioning that I'd been entertaining the idea of going running. "Entertaining the idea" being the key words, in my opinion. But, we are going into summer, so maybe we'll lose some weight, get a tan, and make everyone jealous when we come home looking fabulous.

And so, on Tuesday, we went for a run. Now, I do need to put it out there that I'm not a runner. I've never been a runner. The running that I do consists of spurts of energy on the soccer field. But we were running. Since we're just starting out, we alternate walking and running, but at least it's somewhere to begin. We're only 4 days into the routine, but we'll be doing our best to keep it up.

Wednesday was our first day back to work. We were at one of the special schools, so it wasn't traditional teaching. It kind of felt like we were easing back into teaching. On Thursday, we were at separate schools. The school I was at was really cute and small. I was in a Prep class of only 15 kids, and it was a fairly good day. Friday we didn't have work, but I think that was mostly because a lot of teachers/schools were striking again. I won't pretend I understand how they strike here, because I sure as heck don't. But on Friday was a half-day strike where school was closed in the morning and then reopened around 12:30. At least that's what the school I was at on Thursday was doing. And it makes no sense to me. So, I'll be moving away from that topic...

I suppose there's nothing else to really say. We didn't do much else this week. We went down to the bank, I went to the QVM yesterday to get some fresh produce... yup that's about it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our Geeky Sunday

**WARNING: This post includes much fan-girling and general geeky behaviour. The majority of you won't understand what's going on.

Although my week sucked, I can't really say the same for the weekend. Saturday wasn't exciting; we mostly cleaned. But Sunday is a whole different story...

Early last week, I discovered something called ArmageddonExpo, which is basically a geek convention. It's like ComicCon, FanExpo, and so on. So I was checking out the website and what special guests were going to be there (actors mostly), and discovered something amazing.


And I'm sure no one who reads this blog will recognize this beautiful man, but he's an actor from this show we watch called Leverage. And in our fantastical geek world, he's also Becca's husband. So needless to say, she almost died of a heart attack when I told her. From that moment, we were committed to going.

There were a few other actors who were going that we were interested in seeing, too.

Karl Urban
Lord of the Rings, Star Trek

So as soon as we were 100% sure that Aldis was going to be there, thanks to Twitter, we bought our tickets. And we had a fantastic day!

First thing when we got there, we bought a ticket to get a photo taken with Aldis Hodge. That's the scam with these things: paying for an autograph, paying for a photo. It was $40 for a picture with him, and $35 for his autograph. The stupid thing is that they can do it because people will pay for it. We did. And so did a lot of other people. But I digress...

Once we bought our ticket, we were wandering and found the autograph area, and there were a bunch of people signing already, including Aldis. We had our fan-girl moment and freaked out a bit... a lot. And then we were creepy stalker chicks and stood there for way too long, just looking and watching, but trying to act like we weren't staring. I don't think we're that stealth, though. I tried to convince Becca to just go over and talk to him, but she was all like "I don't think I could. What would I say??"

Eventually we pulled ourselves away from being creepers and made our way over to the Main Stage where Mark Pellegrino was doing a panel.

He's been in a lot of TV shows, most notably as Jacob in Lost, as Lucifer in Supernatural, and as Bishop in Being Human. I've only seen Lost, but the other two are popular shows. Most recently, he's in the new show Revolution that Becca and I have been watching. He was really awesome to see talk. He was funny and laid back. I think my favourite part was hearing him talk about Lost and his character of Jacob. It was interesting to hear him talk about how he interpreted Jacob as a character, and how it changed as he got more scripts and learned more about him.

After that panel, we saw part of a panel that Christopher Heyerdahl did. I don't really know him from anything, but he's been in shows like Supernatural, Sanctuary, Stargate Atlantis, and True Blood. Becca's a fan of him, and he was fun to see as well. But we had to duck out early because we had to go get in line for a picture with Aldis. And this is what came of that:

He was so awesome to meet. And as soon as he saw Becca's t-shirt, he started singing the Batman song "Na na na na na na na na..." I think he liked her shirt! Ha ha. It was really just a pose-shoot-leave kind of situation, so that sucked, but after he was done he was doing a panel, so we saw him later.

We didn't have anything else to see, so we got ourselves set up in the room where Aldis was speaking and listened to Terry Malloy speak. Very few people will know what I'm talking about, but he played the Dalek Davros in Classic Doctor Who. So it was neat to hear him talk about playing that part.

And then it was Aldis' turn. He's actually such a sweetheart. He was asked which superpower he'd love to have and he said it'd be a tie between three: 1. to fly, because the flight from LA to Sydney was brutal; 2. to be able to heal, and use his DNA to create cures for diseases; and 3. to make money out of thin air, because there's too much poverty and he'd like to see that fixed.

Honestly, my heart melted when he said this. WHY ARE ALL PEOPLE NOT AS GOOD AND GENUINE LIKE ALDIS HODGE?!? For those who don't know much about him (i.e. 99.9% of you), he's a genius. He's 25 years old, he skipped high school because he's brilliant, he designs watches and started his own company, etc. I feel like I'm glorifying him, but did you see his answers?!?!?

But I'll move on... mostly he talked about Leverage and his character, Alec Hardison. And I discovered, he's SO MUCH like Hardison. So many of his little quirks and his humour is in Hardison, too. It's awesome how he's managed to impart some of himself into the character. A lot of his answers had to be censored, because people didn't want to hear any season 5 spoilers. But things like his favourite episode and his favourite Parker/Hardison moments came from 5x09, so he wasn't even really able to talk about it. Either way, it was a lot of fun and I'm so excited that we got to go and meet him and listen to him talk about Leverage and himself.

Basically, nothing could top Aldis's talk (Ha ha! But really), so we decided to head out afterwards. It was such an awesome day. I'm so happy that I found out about Armageddon Expo and that we were able to go! Definitely a day I'll remember.

The Sucky Week that Sucked

These are the words I use to describe last week.

Last week was the first week of Term 4, first week back to work. As it were, I wasn't really expecting much work. I'm sure most teachers are fully rested from their holidays, and they all probably want to get the next term all set up and going. As a teacher, I understand that. But I was hoping and praying for at least one day... at least!

But it wasn't to be. So everyday, we woke up before the sun, showered, had breakfast, etc. You know, did all the morning routine things. And then sat there for an hour while we waited for work that never came. It sucked. On Monday we both went back to bed, but I made a point of not napping anymore throughout the week because I knew I had to try and reset my sleeping schedule. That's not to say that I didn't climb into bed and watch TV, but I didn't sleep!

There was another thing that messed up my internal clock: the time change. The worst part was that we weren't expecting it, so it was so confusing when we woke up last Sunday and our electronic devices were a different time from our watches and microwave. So we had to Google it and realized that, as it's Spring, we had "sprung forward" and it was an hour later. So not only had we gotten used to staying up later and sleeping in, we now had to factor in the time change.

The time change also messes with my knowledge of the time at home. Before it was easy, being 14 hours apart. I just had to subtract 2 hours from my time and switch the AM and PM. But now I have to subtract 3 hours and apparently that's confusing. Especially since I'm so used to subtracting 2. To make matters even more messed up, when North America "falls back" in a couple weeks, and turns the time back an hour, we'll be 16 HOURS APART. And not only is that semi-confusing mathematically, but it complicates things in terms of chatting with those at home. Why is this not something I thought of beforehand?!? Ah well, we'll make it work.

Back to the fact that the week was sucky, we really didn't do much. It was like we had this extra week of holidays that we didn't know what to do with. We did some walking around downtown and did some groceries. But there was also a day that we literally didn't leave the house and it was fabulous.

So needless to say, I don't have much else to report from the week. It was boring and sucky and I'm not getting any money again next pay day. That basically sums it up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

End of the Holidays

The end of our holidays wasn't too exciting, so I'll quickly go over it here.

On our last day of the road trip, we spent the early morning on the coast again. We made a few stops at places like London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, and The 12 Apostles again.

London Bridge fell down in 2005
Loch Ard Gorge
5 of the 12 Apostles - there's 8 left standing

The rest of the day was unexciting - driving. We took the highway to the start of the Great Ocean Road and then found a souvenir shop for some last minute shopping. We relaxed a bit at home before making another trip to Costco. We had a few things that we wanted to get, and having a car to get said things home was very convenient. Becca and I also signed up for a Costco membership!

Thursday was a long day. We brought the car back and then did some wandering around the QVM. We picked up a couple things for lunch and then headed home to pack a mini-picnic. Once we had everything gathered, we went down to Brighton Beach. It was a beautiful day! We hit at least 28 degrees. And although the wind was blowing, it was fairly warm.

The rest of the week with Juanita consisted mostly of enjoying each others' company. We went to the mall, hung around home, did some crafting. Like I said, nothing exciting. On Saturday morning, we went to Pancake Parlour for breakfast. I got this wonderful picture there, from the menu. Pretty sure my favourite part about this is that it's imported from "the North American-Canadian region." I actually laughed upon seeing this and my first thought was: "Oh, they're not sure. It's just that general area over there." HAHAHAHA! I had to snap a picture to share. Also, it's expensive! That's $5 for a serving!

Juanita left before the crack-of-dawn on Sunday morning. We mostly cleaned the house and relaxed, since it was our last day before going "back to work." I put it in quotes because it's now Wednesday and we haven't worked yet. Not that I'm surprised. I"m expecting maybe one day of work this week. It's the first week of Term so I'm sure most teachers want to be at school to set up the rest of the year. Hopefully it picks up by next week!

The only exciting thing that's happened this week, is that I finally found the chain bookstore in Austrlia! It's called Dymocks and it's right downtown. The only reason we hadn't found it yet is that it's on a street that we've never walked down before. I'm pretty sure we've walked down every street except that one. So of course it's the one with the bookstore! It also has the craft store that we usually go to at the mall (which is much farther away). So we made a small trip down there on Monday. And as if the fact that it's a bookstore doesn't make it cool enough, but they're also selling a TARDIS teapot.

Now things are kind of weird. It feels like we're still on holidays, except we have to be up early everyday and ready for work. So, are we or aren't we on holidays?!? I think we're wrestling a bit with how to spend our time... we'll just have to see!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 2 on the Great Ocean Road

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Day two of our road trip was a success! Today was Becca's driving day, so we hopped in the car and headed over to Otway Fly Treetop Walk. The drive there was quite an adventure in itself. The road we took was through the trees and windy and narrow..... And kinda scary! But Becca drove like a pro and got us to the Treetop Walk safe and sound.

We were thinking of going zip-lining, but at $115 a person, we decided against it. We were still able to go on the treetop walk and it was really fun! At the highest point, at the top of the observation tower, we were 47 metres in the air. That's over 150 feet! There were a few times that I was feeling a bit shaky on my feet, but I had a really good time. We were there for almost 2 hours, taking our time as we walked and took pictures.
Looking down from the top of the Observation Tower

Our second stop was at the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Centre. It's a little place just off the Great Ocean Road, and they have a few different animals for people to see and feed and pet. It wasn't very busy, but it was very muddy. We still made our way
Becca and I named her Tamara
through and saw lots of animals. They have guinea pigs, chickens, emus, kangaroos,
red deer, wallabies, dingo puppies, deer, donkeys, ponies, peacocks, and lots of different kinds of birds flying around. I loved that we got to feed and pet some animals. The BEST part was that we were able to go into the kangaroo pen and pet and feed the kangaroos!!! It was sooooo amazing to be right up there with the kangaroos, having them hang onto my hand with their front paws and eat out of my palm. Seriously, it was fantastic. Such an awesome experience. We also were able to go into the wallaby pen and feed them, and feed the deer, emus, ponies, and donkeys. Although we were walking through yucky, wet mud, it was a fun time.

As we headed to our destination for the night, Port Campbell, we were passing right by the 12 Apostles, so we stopped to see them. It was really nice because the sun was just going down. We weren't really able to take many good pictures, especially pictures of us, because of the setting sun, so we'll go back tomorrow when we pass by on our way home.

We made it to Port Campbell for the night, but we had a really hard time finding a room! We tried 4 hotels that had no vacancy or rooms that were too small, before finding a nice place to stay. Tomorrow we'll see a few more tourist attractions, before driving home.

Favourites of the day:
Juanita - Seeing the 12 Apostles.
Becca - Watching Juanita and I "freak out" at the top of the observation tower and on the cantilever
Me - Feeding and petting the kangaroo and having her hold onto my hand while I fed her.

Let the Road Trip Begin!

Monday, October 1st, 2012

First things first, we were woken up at 7:45 this morning by our apartment fire alarm going off..... Again. This is the third time within the last 2 weeks or so. I think this morning was due to something the construction workers did to set it off. They let us in shortly after we got outside. No fire trucks this time.

We were soon on the road in our little white car. Thankfully there were no surprises on the way out of the city. When we got to the Great Ocean Road, we just began stopping at a bunch of different lookouts. It's amazing just to stop and stare at the water because it's soooo blue!

Our first moment of excitement came at the first lookout, when we saw a seal! It was so cute to see it just hanging out in the water, rolling around and throwing its flippers in the air. Sometimes it would just stop and lay on its back on the surface of the water. Adorable!

After a few stops, we just drove on the winding roads around the coast. Some of it was kinda scary to drive on, but it was a beautiful drive! We made it to Apollo Bay, our destination for the day, around mid-afternoon so we stopped at the information kiosk to see what we could do or see near town. Since we'd been sitting in the car all day, we found a walking trail and drove out to it. It was a walk in the rainforest! Who would've thought that we'd go on a walk through the rainforest in Australia?! It was so neat, the trees were HUGE!

Afterwards we drove out to Cape Otway in hopes of finding another lookout where we could keep our eyes out for whales. On the way there, we were driving along another windy trail, and then Becca said: "What's that over there?" She'd seen kangaroos! So I stopped the car and we took a couple pictures of them in the distance. Once we started driving again, we came upon a car stopped on the side of the road, and there were people looking up into the trees. And then Juanita said the magic word: KOALAS. They were all over the trees! We counted around 10 koalas from that one stopping point. Then we got back in the car and drove another 30 seconds, and we stopped again and saw another 15 in another spot! There were two that were fighting, one of which had a baby hanging off of it! As we continued driving, there were tons of other spots where people had stopped to take pictures of koalas, and we could even just see them from the road as we drove. I tried calculating it best as I could, and I'm positive we saw at least 50 koalas today. WILD koalas. It was really hard to count them all, there were so many! It was so amazing, I never imagined we'd see so many of them in the wild, if any at all!
How many koalas can you find? (Click picture to see it larger)

That really was our big exciting adventure of the day. We didn't find a lookout so we couldn't do any whale watching. But after the excitement of the koalas, I think we were pretty happy. We just headed back to Apollo Bay and found a place to rest our heads for the night, and somewhere with a bite to eat.

After such an exciting day, we're all pretty tired, and so we spent the night playing cards and relaxing in our motel room. Tomorrow we'll be going to a wildlife park and on a treetop walk! Hopefully it'll be just as exciting as today was!

Juanita's highlight: baby koala!
Favourites of the day:
Juanita - On our way back to Apollo Bay, we saw a little baby koala in a tree right next to the road. It was adorable, and Juanita said this was her favourite part of the day.
Rebecca - She said that the road trip as a whole was her favourite part.
Me - I loved the seal that was rolling around in the water at the first lookout we went to.