Here I am in Australia,
I've been here a week now for work. It's been a pretty good time. I spent the first week in Adelaide, which was a beautiful city. On Tuesday, I got into town, and the guys from the office took me out to dinner. On Wednesday, I walked the for miles around the city, it was a great and peaceful walk. I walked from Rundle Street and Frome, down to Central Market, and looped around and back. Then, I wasn't quite ready to go to sleep. So I went to the cinema. There was actually a french film festival going on. And who doesn't love those Australian French Film Festivals. Anyway, I saw a french movie that translates as "The Perfect Date." It was a dopey little romance comedy, but I laughed quite a bit. I picked the first movie that was showing and it paid off.
On Thursday, I went to Warrawong sanctuary, on the "sunset walk." It got dark really fast into the walk, but I was able to pet and feed a kangaroo, that was a special moment in my life. We went walking around the grounds and I saw a bunch of Australian animals that all look pretty much the same. There's Wallabies and Wallaroos and Potaroos and Possums etc, and they are all fun to see. The place had hundreds of them. It wasn't really a zoo, it was a sanctuary, so none of the animals are caged, and there are no guarantees about what you are actually going to see. They said that only one in ten tour groups get to see a platypus, and lucky enough, we were the one. We all stood there in the dark, by this time, it was just straight-up night-time, totally dark. The guide had a flash light that he pointed at the water, looking for bubbles. He found some, and then rising to the surface was the platypus. We actually got to see a perfect top-down view of it, and when it came to the surface, nobody could contain themselves, and the platypus got a huge round of applause. Of course, it immediately dove down again. Even though it was just 10 seconds or so, we got to see our platypus. Another highlight of the trip was the koala. We found a koala in the last 5 minutes of the 90minute tour. It was sitting up, about ten feet up, in the crook of the tree trunk and one of the major branches. It was very quiet and calm and just kind of sat there wincing (understandably). It was a great tour, and definitely one of the highlights so far.
Friday was pretty passive, I just kind of wandered the city on foot again. I went back to the french film festival and saw another movie, but mistakenly, the movie I picked was actually spanish (english subtitles). It was called Biutiful and was perhaps the most depressing movie I've ever seen in my life. Horribly depressing, good, but depressing.
I also went in to the office those days, but I'm going to ignore the work stuff, basically, I am preparing and giving a demonstration of the Data Access Layer. nuff said.
Saturday I just kind of wandered Perth on foot. I went to the mall and took a bunch of pictures of the city. On Sunday, I went to "Caversham Wildlife Park." This was more of a straight-up zoo. I got to feed kangaroos again. I've always loved kangaroos, and getting to meet them only has made me love them more. They are very tender and smart animals. They grab food from your hands so gently and chew it for sometimes several minutes before getting another bite. They look up and you with the most gentle eyes. They are also spectacular nappers.
I also got to see a ton of exotic owls and flying foxes (bats). And of course, there was a Koala enclosure, where I got to pet a bunch of Koalas and watch them amble about through the trees. They were impressively clumsy in the trees. They were oafish and lazy, but nonetheless cute. They aren't really as "cuddly" as they are normally presented. They are actually a bit rigid and have a somewhat icy demeanor. In person, there noses stick out more than they do as stuffed animals or drawings, this gives them more of a feel that they are designed to bite. One of the koala's crawled into the zoo-workers arms, and she described that the one specific koala was raised from birth by humans and actually craves human attention, but she said he is somewhat unusual for Koalas. Koalas have huge claws, and even when they want to be picked up, they look awkward. It was fine being held, but it just didn't seem particularly good at being held.
That was sunday, today is monday and the conference started. I sat through 8 hours of extremely boring presentations. I will be throwing my shit on the pile on wednesday. I guess they weren't all completely boring. But I will say that all of them were at least partially boring. But the food is free and tasty and I respect that. After day 1 of the conference, there was a gourmet bbq out on the back patio. It was a beautiful event and I ate happy. yum.
After the event, I took my ipod, grabbed a coke, and went out to the golf course to sit down and relax. I found a bunch of kangaroos hanging out by a tree on the golf course. I sat down by the tree, drank my coke, listened to my music, and hung out with the kangaroos. It was, simply put, one of the best hours of my life. I loved it.
Now, I am very very tired. I will go to sleep.
Also today, I got to skype with my family, which was a great great feeling. I'm really missing all the love and chaos.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
A great week!
Ava turned two last week. I've described her as my exploding goofball swan, and I believe that to be an accurate description. She has a mysterious little soul. You never really know what you're gonna get from the small fry. She's got a lot of facets to her personality. She can be outgoing, saying hello to every stranger. Or, she can be shy, refusing to make eye contact with anyone. She can be extremely task-oriented, focused, planning and working with her miniature kitchen. Or, she can be jumping around in circles, dancing (with no music on), talking to herself (like her daddy does).
I really like her little mind. She's got a good sense of humor, though, you can't really put your finger on it. She's goofy, yet oddly graceful. She can make these extremely studious and serious faces, and then suddenly explode into a full on smile. And her whole face changes shape when she smiles. She also sticks her head forward when she smiles, and it's a poetic experience, because she puts her grin right into your face.
She's a little life force. Her name means "life," actually, so does "Zoe," but in two different languages. Zoe is a somewhat rare name, but not extremely rare, you're likely to meet a couple Zoe's in your life. Ava's name is extremely popular. But we didn't pick either name for popularity or obscurity, we just liked the names.
Ava has a funny style to her movements and stances. Here's a picture of her staring down the winter with a wide-stance. She does cute little things like putting her hand lightly on her own shoulder (right hand on right shoulder). She does it in such a light feminine way. She also likes to make loose fists with both of her hands, and then she crosses her arms with them high and against her body.
I know I'm just gushing about my girl, and going into much more detail than socially acceptable. But hey, My Blog: My Rules.
Anyway, we had a great birthday for her. We went to this indoor amusement park called "Funtastic Fun (worst.name.ever)" It's this old run down place, but the kids love it there. I half expect scooby-doo and shaggy to show up investigating some sort of makeshift haunt job. It's kind of got that vibe. Not really creepy, but just, extremely "broken-in." They have a little ferris wheel there that probably goes twenty feet in the air, or maybe thirty. They actually have a little cut-out of the ceiling for it. The whole place is actually shutting down in May (I believe). It's being moved somewhere in east Denver.
Anyway, they had a little teacup ride, and a train ride, and this little cart ride that whips people around the turns, and a ball-pit (the fan-fave amongst the girls). It also had a bounce palace (in which Ava got landed on by a little girl, and somehow managed to not even notice). That's a result of growing up around Annie, a high-octane turbo-Labrador with an iron tail and battering-ram head. She's a great dog though, very good with the girls.
Anyway, I better get to sleep now. I just wanted to write something, because it's been a long while. I deleted a couple of my previous posts, which were half-envisioned poems that almost made sense at the time, and made zero-sense later. Anyway, I leave you with a photo of Ava from the vault (digging back to ancient October 2010, five months ago). Anyway, I like this picture, so I included it.
See ya all later, peace unto all!