Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In the Navy, well not quite.

I must admit I have not been very good at writing to this blog the past few days. Partly its because I have been busy with the move, trying to do 2 jobs at work, and keeping my Etsy store going (I had 2 sales yesterday). But mainly its just because my mind has gone blank. I don't seem to be able to find anything to write about.

However, I am not one to give in to a challenge. So I started to re-read my previous blogs, and comments, to see if I could get inspired - is it bad I use myself as inspiration? I guess not been as this blog is mostly about me. (Yes I do talk to myself at times).

Well in my first post ( Song of Happiness: Joy. Song of happiness. Manly. ) Marmelade made a comment about those navy boys, and it reminded me of a night when I was in Cairns, and I said I'd write about it in a couple of days, and at this point a couple of days have already been and gone so its time.

Back in 2001, I was backpacking in Australia, I spent a fantastic week in Cairns, I saw my first crocodile, got extremely sun burnt that day. One of the girls in my room (Karen), was heading back to Sydney on the same flight that I was, our flight left at 6am, so we decided we'd pack the day before, and then head out drinking, and stay up all night, we figured this would be much easier than trying to get up early. As we were packing we decided to have a couple of bevies, it was rather hot you see, then we headed out with some folks from the hostel to one of the local bars, I think it was called The Wool Shed, but I could be wrong about that.
I did mention I was sun burnt

Needless to say we were both rather merry by the time we got there. As I was dancing away, I got talking to a very good looking Kiwi guy, it was already getting close to the end of the night, and I couldn’t find Karen. The guy and I decided to go get some food, so we left with his buddy. We picked up something to eat, and were trying to decide where to eat it. He suggested going back to his digs, I figured what the heck, so off we went.

We started heading towards the harbor, and I started to get a little worried, I was like, erm, there’s no hostels down here, where are you taking me?”, his response was, “we’re staying down here, its ok”, I was like, where. There was nothing down there but a bunch of boats, he then pointed at a huge navy ship, that’s where we’re going. I couldn’t believe it, I thought he was taking the mick. He tried to convince me he was serious, but I just wasn’t buying it, and I thought even if he was telling the truth there was no way I’d be allowed on the thing. Oh how wrong could I have been, all I had to do was show em my passport, and on I went. I ended up spending the rest of the night (at this point I think it was already about 3am), drinking rum and coke with the navy boys in the mess. I don’t even like rum, so I was just knocking it back…

It got to about 5:00 and I noticed the time, I panicked Cinderella style, picked up my stuff and started to leave, of course I had no clue how to get off the ship. The guys were asking what’s wrong, where you going, I explained I had a flight to catch, which left in one hour, I was escorted back to my hostel by 5 navy boys, it was pretty funny. When I got there Karen was still nowhere to be seen, and we had about 45 mins before our flight was due to leave, I went into my room to pick up my bag, and noticed I hadn’t even finished packing, I started throwing stuff into my bag, while trying not to wake the other girls in the room.

In the meantime Karen came back, we called a cab, and headed off to the airport in a drunken panic. We made it somehow to the airport with about 15 mins to spare, but of course there was a huge line, we made our way to the front, stinking of booze. The guy checking us in, was such a hunny. He told us to take our time, now our bags were checked, the plane couldn’t leave without us… we thought that was hilarious, so off we staggered. Karen somehow managed to fall over and twisted her ankle, so she had drunken hobble going on. We made it to the plane, and of course our seats were right at the back. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many dirty looks at one time. It was quite embarrassing, we’d held the plane up by about 15 mins, and were blatantly drunk, I am surprised they let us get on the plane. Of course, as soon as we sat down we fell asleep, the next thing I knew I’d landed back in Sydney, ready for another day of partying, before catching a flight to Perth later that day.

It was a rather odd night, and there's more to be told, but this post is already way to long withouth me adding to it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

These boots were made for walking

I've become much tubbier than I'd like to be over the past year, and it is time for me to do something about it. Actually its probably well beyond time for me to do something about it, but I am finally going to do something about it.

As you'll have seen I have recently moved, and this will help greatly with my plan. I love to walk, and I don't have a car, so walking is the easiest way for me to get anywhere, provided of course it's within walking distance. I lived previously in suburbville, and it was rather difficult for me to walk anywhere, so I didn't. For the most part I stayed home. Now that I am back in town, I am really excited about being able to walk to the store, to get coffee, to see my friends, well pretty much to be able to walk anywhere.

I purchased a nike plus thingie for my nano last year, which of course I barely used, so now, I am committing myself to walk, walk walk! I have included a widget on my blog (on the right hand side), so that any passers by my blog, can see how well, or badly I am doing. I am hoping this will put some pressure on me to do this.

I'm starting off with walking at least a mile a day, of course I actually expect to walk much more than that at least 3 times a week, 1 mile is my minimum daily allowance. This should be easy, so long as I remember to where the shoes that work with the Nike Plus thingie, and my nano is charged. (Note: I am not very good at remembering stuff, 3 times this week I have forgotten to pick up my wallet when going for lunch/dinner).

Well, I'll give a short update on the first day of every month with how things are going!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our House - Finally

Well I've been gone a few days due to my move. I spent all day Friday packing, Saturday morning moving, Saturday and most of Sunday unpacking. I still have several boxes left to go.

It was fairly uneventful as far as moving goes. I did throw a bit of a wobbly on Saturday, and then another bigger one on Sunday, but I think it was just because of the stress of moving, and tiredness. Luckily my wbf understood, and didn't get upset with me.

Its challenging trying to find a home for everything, the apartment is a little smaller than where I moved from, but not by much. It will all have a home eventually. Most of the boxes that are left are pictures or books, so shouldn't take too long to get finished up.

The wbf, still has quite a bit of stuff to move in, and he has a room, pretty much, of his own, that he can do what he pleases with, although, he has had a few looks from me. I can't help it, I am quite picky, and a bit of a control freak, its hard to let someone do what they want sometimes. I am sure it will look great once he has all his stuff in it though, it will be a proper bachelor room :).

I really didn't do much this past weekend other than move, although we did go to his house for a grill and just to hang out with some friends. It was fun, we ended the night with a small jamming session in the basement, that was a lot of fun. Although Caroline was very tired, and ended up crashing in the wbf's rocking chair while he packed up some stuff and finished his beer.

The cats did quite well with the move too. Henry is normally the worst, he is such a softy. He went into the cat carrier without much fuss, which surprised me, and once we showed him his new home, he explored instead of hiding behind the washing machine for hours, which he did when I last moved. He did walk around the apartment growling though, its such a strange noise for a cat to make. Cleo of course has settled in without any problems. She is always happy, so long as she has a place to sleep and some food to eat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I want to ride my bicycle

For some reason I've been having a lot of conversations about bicycles today. One of them came up because someone at work offered his bike to me, so I could use it to get from off campus to campus. I declined his offer as his bike was too tall for me.
This created a few puzzled looks from my team. I am hesitant to ride any bike that is too tall for me after 1 too many accidents while I lived in the Netherlands, the first few weren't so bad, and pretty much ended up with me in a ditch with my legs wrapped around the bike.

The final straw was when I borrowed a bike from work, as mine was in the bike shop getting fixed. The bike I used, was one of those which didn't have handbrakes, but instead you peddled backwards to stop. Yeah, with my coordination skills I should have known it would be a bad idea. In addition my feet didn't reach the ground, even with a stretch.

I was cycling into to town to go to the bank I think. I got off campus easily enough, and I was doing great until I approached the road. Then, I realised the only way I was getting across was if I judged it right, and was able to make it without stopping. (It was a bit like that game, frogger). Well I was never very good at frogger either, and misjudged it, and cycled straight into the side of a moving car. The driver wasn't very happy, and was yelling at me, not that I can blame him. He was yelling in Dutch though, so luckily I couldn't really understand what he said. I just replied with "Sorry, Stomer engels" while pointing at myself.

I then got back on the bike, and started cycling again, I then realised the next thing I would have to take on would be a train. I decided one crash was enough for a day, turned around and pushed the bike back to work.

The other instance we were talking about bicycles today, was after a meeting. We have these meetings at work, where the folks from the exciting departments, present to us in the boring departments. Todays presentation was about Action Sports, such as snowboarding, skateboarding, and biking. They showed some great videos of crazy kids doing amazing things, which just look impossible to me. I found this one You Tube that was shown to us today:

(the shot of the guy on the bike falling into the water, that's where I work, I was there when it was filmed. The swimming pool shown is also at my work)

Flipping amazing. A little different from the BMX dares we did as kids, where we'd race each other down hills in the woods, while trying to avoid each other and the trees.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roll with It

This is my 10th post to this blog, and I am about ready to add a bog roll, i mean blog roll.

However, I am not sure who is worthy... so nominations please, feel free to nominate yourself.

I of course get to pick who goes on the list...

I love the feeling of power!

I'm so excited

I am moving into my new place this weekend. Just got the keys yesterday, and I can't wait.

I'll be moving in with the wbf.

The place is downtown, and you have no idea how happy I am to be moving back down there. I've been living in suburber for the past year, and I really don't like it. I want to be able to walk out of my apartment and have something to do, whether it is just to grab coffee, go to the farmers market, or go have a beer.

The farmers market here in P-town is wonderful. I am a foodie, and there is nothing like a farmers market to get a food fix. Fresh fruit, flowers, veggies, plants, pate, bread... and live music.

I am also excited, as I am about to make my 3rd sale on etsy. Someone has put in an order for my dragonfly tags... woo hoo.

Now I have to get packing. I am not fond of packing. I took Friday off work, to get it done, I seem to do better when I have to get it done all at once, but I'm so excited right now, I think I'll start tonight. However packing of course also means getting rid of unwanted/not needed stuff... I came across a box of clothes, that were my favourites, but of course now I don't fit into. Everytime I come across them, I tell myself, I'll lose the weight and be able to wear them again. I wonder if this time that will prove to be true...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday Night

I didn’t get to post anything yesterday, as I was tired from the night before. The wbf and his housemates had a party on Saturday night. I headed over there in the early afternoon to help them get set up, although in the end I didn’t really do much, I just observed. It turned out to be a really fun night.

One of his housemates is in a band (the same band I went to see on Wednesday), so there was an all night jamming session going on in the basement. It was so much fun! They were great. Especially considering that most of them hadn’t met each other till that night, and certainly hadn’t played together before. I love going to parties at this house. There’s 4 guys living here including my wbf, and it is very much like a fraternity house. When there is a party here, there is such a wide range of people who show up, professionals, artists, musicians, models, unemployed, the 20 something’s and the 50 something’s. The conversations are interesting in so many ways, either because they are life stories, or just plain weird.

I was dancing away to the music, and my wbf comes over, seems we’d been invited to go to a hot tub at someone’s house… I looked at him, and said “hot tub”?, he said “yes”. I was confused, my thoughts ranged from a hot tub, is that a bar near here, or do they mean a proper hot tub. I don’t even know these people, what will I wear, I only have what I am wearing now… oh that’s the point, they don’t want me to wear anything… then I looked at my wbf, and said “erm, no thanks, not today! I am not really into people seeing my wobbly bits”. He just laughed, he knew what I’d say, but thought I’d get a kick out of it. I am quite a shy girl you know.
I went back to my dancing.

I then met a lovely couple outside, they’ve been married for 34 years, and are still very much in love. They were adorable.

It turned out to be a late night, I think we got to sleep about 5am, and typically, woke up at 9:30. The place was a mess, beer bottles, plates, glasses, food everywhere. However, with 4 people helping out, the clean up went pretty quick. The wbf and I then headed over to my place, and watched Manhatten, a Woody Allen movie. It was a nice lazy day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Light-Rail Coyote

I was struggling to think of something to write about today, but as I was packing for my upcoming move, I came across my journal from when I first moved here, so I am going to tell you a story of a fun weekend back in August 2005(I have had other ones since then, don't worry, it wasn't my only fun weekend here in Portland).

I was invited to a pig roast at the coast (Paradise City to be exact). I had never been to a pig roast, and I actually have never been to another one since. I must say that the pig didn't look too pretty, but it sure did taste good. We hung out at the beach for a bit, drank some beer and ate. Been as I don't drive I caught a ride with a friend back to Beaverton, to catch the Max (this is our light rail system) back home.

There were a couple of guys on the Max who were trying to find their way into town, for a few drinks. They were from out of town, so didn't really know where to get off, or where to go. I suggested that they went to Ringlers, before heading on to the bar they really wanted to go to. Been as it was a Saturday night, and I had no plans, I decided I'd go back and join them. I was all sandy and wind swept from the beach, so I popped home to clean up and get changed, before heading back out to meet them at Ringlers.

After playing some pool (which of course I kicked ass at), we headed to Kelly's, which was the bar they wanted to go to. Kellys is a pretty cool bar, it was the first time (not to be the last) that I went there. This bar has motorbikes hanging from the ceiling, its the owners collection, he has more, but only displays a few here.

There was a lass sitting at the bar on my own and my 2 new friends (Pedro and Mike), started chatting to her, or was it chatting her up... Christen (the girl) had just moved to Portland, and had gone to the bar in the hope of meeting some people. We ended up going dancing. Pedro and Mike got kicked out for some reason, so we ended up losing them. I met a french girl in the bathroom, and the 3 of us had a lot of fun.

On the way home, we met a lad from my neck of the woods, he was over for a Sunderland v's timbers game. I think we'd also found Pedro and Mike again by now (actually I believe they found us, we'd tried to give them the slip). We shared a cab, and got some food before calling it a night. Christen and I became really good friends, and became regular drinking buddies. We seemed to do well with meeting lots of new people, and seemed to have a crazy story from every time we went out.

I haven't actually in seen her in a long time, we both ended up in relationships, and our friendship sort of fizzled.

I never heard from Pedro or Mike again, although at one Halloween, we did see Mike dressed up as a Gorilla. It was rather odd.

The weekend following the Pig Roast was also interesting. It was a normal Saturday morning, and I was trying to get as many errands done as possible. I'd just received my bonus check from work, so I wanted to go post it to my bank account, I also needed to do some groceries. I was expecting it to be an uneventful Saturday morning... While on my way to the store, I walked past the street it was on, so did a quick about turn before crossing the road. This girl started shouting something at me, but I couldn't make out what she was saying.

Turns out she was a prostitute, and thought I was running away from the police, she thought I was a prostitute too. I promise I was dressed decently, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She told me I should become one or a dancer, that I could make a killing, I politely declined. If any of you have seen me dance, you'll find it all the more amusing, I dance as if no-one is watching, or should I say I dance and hope no-one is watching.

I am telling you, there's some weird things that happen here in Portland.

Friday, April 18, 2008

99 Red Balloons - Or actually 200+ Multicoloured Balloons

I finally got a good night sleep last night, there were no raccoons partying outside my bedroom window, and I kept my coffee intake to a minimum yesterday. I also have a feeling that carrying crates of beer from my friends car to the office, along with 26lbs of ice also helped to wear me out.

Every 3rd Thursday of the month, we have a party in my building at work. Each floor takes a turn to host the party. Its funded by employees, and works quite like a pot luck. This was the 3rd one that my floor has hosted, and for some reason, its always me who gets involved in the party planning. Not that I am complaining, I actually quite enjoy party planning.

We seem to have lots of parties at work these days, I think a lot of it stems from the fact that you don't have to drink to work here, but it really does help. As well as having parties, we also like to do fun stuff for peoples birthdays. The most recent was for one of my team mates. He was out of the office on the day of his birthday, so we decided it would be fun to fill his cubicle with balloons.

As you can see, we take our work very seriously indeed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rocky Raccoon Dead or Alive Poll

In my feeble attempt to get to the bottom of this, as me and the wbf are still discussing it. I am in no means attempting to prove him wrong, or myself right, I am really just curious what people think.

Rocky Raccoon

I am feeling a little zombie like at present, I have had two nights now with very little sleep. The first I blame on too much coffee and too many thoughts running through my head. Last night, I think I have to blame again on too much caffeine, too much beer, too much excitement, and a noisy raccoon chattering away outside of my bedroom window.

This was my first ever encounter with a raccoon, other than seeing them at the zoo. I was lying there, in my bed, and I heard a strange squeaking noise from outside. I had no clue what it was was, so I asked my wonderful boyfriend, who thought it was a squirrel or chipmunk thing. I much admit I was not convinced, it sounded a little to big to be either of those. So I got up and peeked out the window, I saw the backend of a raccoon running away, avoiding the searchlights that were trying to locate it. Seems it had also got the attention of my neighbours, they were using a torch (or should I say flashlight) to try and locate the poor little fella. I was needless to say quite excited to see my first "wild" raccoon.

Picture taken by my friend mnt_goat_76

I then started to try and sing The Beatles song Rocky Racoon, but if you’ve read my previous blog, you’ll know by now that I can not sing, nor could I remember any of the words, other than Rocky Racooon, D'da d'da d'da da d'da d'da d'da d'da

While trying to find the words my wonderful boyfriend, told me Rocky dies… I didn’t believe him, I never remember getting the impression that he dies.. I know he gets shot, but I always thought he survived. How can such a happy sounding song be about a dead raccoon, just doesn’t seem write to me. (although I did comment to him, that is sometimes the case, I’ll be smiling and dancing away all happy to a song, then all of a sudden I’ll actually pay attention to the lyrics and realize its actually a very sad song… why must people do that!). So back to Rocky Raccoon, we listened to it in the car this morning. He still believes that Rocky dies, as “Gideon’s gible checked out”, the wbf believing that checked out means gave up and died, and I think he lived because:
“Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky's revival, ah”

Checked out meaning, it worked out, like when your car checks out, or when you run a security check on a person, they check out… not check out like leaving the building. Plus, he had a revial… that doesn’t spell death to me…

I think this just goes to prove that my wbf is a cynic and the glass is half empty, and I am optimist, and the glass is half full.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rum Commericals and a Meme

How I didn't think to write about this yesterday when I was rambling about the meaning of my name I'll never know. It makes me chuckle even more at the meaning manly. You'll be pleased to know that my parents did not spend hours reading baby name books, looking for a name they could call there little baby girl. Instead they decided if it was a boy it would be James (after my father). Its a tradition in England to names boys after there fathers. We have 4 Billy's in our family for that very reason, Granddad Billy, Uncle Billy, Cousin Billy and Baby Billy (what I'll call baby billy when he is no longer a baby I do not know, maybe it will end up sticking).

Anyways, back to me, in the case that I was to be a girl, my mum quite liked Caitlyn, however my dad got the final vote for some reason. He quite liked the look of Caroline Munro. I don't think it was so much the name he like the look of as it was her herself, but that's where it comes from.

If you are unfamilar with who she is, as I was until a year or two ago. Here's some information, and more importantly, a picture. I think my dad saw her on Lambs Rum Commercial as she was there poster child for 10 years or so. Caroline Munro is a British actress and model best known for her many appearances in science fiction and action films of the 1970 and 1980. As you can see from the picture, there's nothing manly about her.

Now to the Meme. I actually will admit that I didn't know what Meme meant, so I had to google it. So incase you, like me are ingnorant to its meaning, heres a quick definition: A meme (pronounced /miːm or mɛm/) consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Here are the rules of the game that I cut and pasted from Max's most wonderfull blog, which he then took from Canucklehead's parody of a blog:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.

3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment on their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged, and to come back and read your blog for the whole story.

So here they are, all 8 of them:

- I have a closet FFXI addiction. Its true I really do. Many of my RL friends are not aware of this.
- I've lived in 3 continents. My definition of living in a place, consists of me going to the cinema there. Europe, Austrailisa and North America
- I do not drive, I have never have, I don't have a license. This means that I am always the Designated Drunkard
- My happiest moment was when my little brother was born. He was so cute. Now he's a horrid teenager. Just kidding squadge, I love you!
- I have no middle name.
- One of the things I have done that I am most proud of, was to speak about equal rights in the workplace for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender peeps, in Washington DC last year. It was an incredible experience.
- I met Alan Shearer at Newcastle airport before they played Southend a few years back, and I was such a goof, I had no clue what to say to him, I was well and truely star struck.
- My favourite job ever was working in a video rental store, I got to watch movies all day, and has they had an off-license attached I got discounted booze! woo hoo!

So heres whom I am tagging: Leroy Brown Tangeryne
i'll add more later got to go for now

Desktop Tag

I was double tagged, by Max who was caught in the hopeless never ending meme game.

For this one I had to post a picture of my desktop, without cleaning it up. OK so I will admit this is not the most exciting desktop, but it is my work computer so give me a break.

I am pressed for time, as I am in a busy meeting. I will be posting the other tag later today, once I think of 8 things about me... you would think it would be easy, amazingly it is not, I have 3 so far.

So heres whom I am tagging: Leroy Brown Tangeryne
i'll add more later got to go for now

Joy. Song of happiness. Manly.

What is this all about you might be asking?

This blog is an output of a conversation with Max I posted more comments on his blog than I have ever written on any of my own blogs, ever. Seriously, if you did a word count on the comments that I left at his blog today, and a word count of my "other" blogs, I am sure there would be more on his.

This lead me to believe two things:

1. My current blogs, although they may serve a purpose to my friends and family back home and to my Etsy Store, are not all that interesting, and are not updated frequently.

2. That I do actually have stuff I want to say, and at least one person out there is at least a little curious.

This has nothing to do with my Etsy Blog or my Travel Blog. This is just about me, my life, my thoughts, and the strange things that seem to happen to me. I'll write about current things going on, as well as some of my favourite stories from my past, and perhaps some made up stuff, just to keep you on your toes.

I figure this will be good practice for the story that Max wants me to write.

In case you are still here, and are curious as to where the name of the blog comes from, it is one of several meanings for my name. Other than manly (which really seemed to have no similarity to me what so ever in my opinion, other than my like for manly guys), this one seemed to amuse me, perhaps because of my inability to actually sing.

You should think yourself lucky that you have never heard me try. There has only been one karaoke attempt made by myself, and there is a reason for that. It probably didn't help that I was drunk for the first time in my life, in Scotland, singing a song that I'd never heard of, which had probably been written about 50 years before I was born. Of course the fact that I really can't sing, and that I am extremely tone deaf was probably the root cause of the noise coming from my mouth. About half way through the song, I had a brief moment where I could actually hear myself, so I put down the mike, and walked away. I have never been tempted to pick up the mike since. Which I assure you is a very good thing, some things really don't get better with age you know.