Monthly Archives: August 2009

Day 10- August 31, 2009

In case you can’t tell what that is (and I don’t blame you), it is the rather sad remains of a “snowman” I came across on the corner of La Trobe and Swanston today. Got a brief look on the way in- “he” was wearing a sign saying something like: “Enjoy me while you can- I’ll be gone soon”. I’m guessing it’s a climate change statement? Anyway, he looked a bit sad and unrecognisable when I came past again a few hours later, so I decided to bestow upon him “Immortality Through Photography”. That has a nice ring to it… can we get it printed on banners?

The day started somewhat annoyingly with what seemed to be the entire local high school at the train station. Lucky me, I also got them on the way back home later in the day. Argh. Tried to escape by changing carriages while the train stopped at a station, but the second carriage was worse than the first. After a while, I remembered I had my iPod with me, so I put on some Simon and Garfunkel, closed my eyes and pretended I wasn’t surrounded by about a hundred school students, several weary looking teachers and one fellow handing out pamplets explaining that there is a secret feminist conspiracy aimed at discriminating against and subjugating men.

Aside from that, my sole lecture today was spent giggling at the concept of “the fruit machine” (a contraption used by the Mounties in the 50s, similar to a polygraph, which was supposed to test for homosexuality) and other ridiculous things. Heh. The day ended with me making meatballs for dinner, taking no photos of the experience (to everybody’s surprise) and watching a film called Dogville with James. Freaky.

Tried to take some photos today, but couldn’t really find anything to take photos of. I’m sick of taking photos of tree branches, even if they do look cool. Does anybody want their photo taken, or come with me someplace to take photos of more interesting things?

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Day 9- August 30, 2009

God I love Mean Girls. Such a great film. We had a meeting of the committee for the 2009 Russian Orthodox Youth Conference (aka Syezd) today followed by a film night featuring heaps of food (pictured). I had been pushing for Mean Girls from a while back, so I was pretty thrilled when it won the vote with about four people for it (one for The Cable Guy, nobody for Napoleon Dynamite, and about 20 abstained due to apathy).

The committee meeting was pretty epic, what with arguing exactly how many kilograms of sausages to buy from our “special contacts” (well, we got 17.3kg last time, so let’s go with that…) for the fundraiser BBQ, who will be making the lima bean soup and who will be making the cabbage filling for the piroshkii; and how best to fix a typo on 15,000 homemade lottery tickets.

Then came the movie and the eating, with more pizzas than we could handle and some cheap-ass “AC” Cola (only 42c per can!!). It turns out AC stands for Australia’s Choice, although I don’t really know how they back up that claim. More photos of the meeting/film night/food gorging here.

Earlier, in the day, I went for a walk to try out my new camera. Down the street and up to the railway tracks and the park and whatnot. Some of the cherry blossoms are out, which are good to photograph, and just to prove I’m not just a flower-photographing pansy¬†(makes me think of the Lumberjack Song…), I also took some of dramatic skies and footy goalpoasts. That’s a manly thing to do, yeah? Photos here.

Day 8- August 29, 2009

Well, let’s start with the picture. Mum’s been bugging me for ages to do something about the level of clutter, dust and general disarray (South Park reference unintentional) in my room. To be honest, once it gets to the stage where I choke from inhaling dust or have to play a game of Jenga every time I need something from my desk, I get the feeling I really should. It’s a bit disturbing seeing dust mass into balls, knowing they’ll soon become consious and organise workers’ unions and come after me. Not really, but breathing in dust isn’t really that pleasant.

So I cleaned up, the first stage being taking EVERYTHING off my table, piano, coffee table and bookshelf and putting it on my bed so I could dust the aforementioned surfaces. The photo is of all of the things that were piled on my bed. Took quite a while to sort out. Ha.

Enough about cleaning. I spent the rest of the day doing my Psychology essay, which isn’t really that worth mentioning (or now that I have mentioned it, worth elaborating upon), but I took a break to play with my camera and went outside to take photos of nothing in particular. Take a look!

Day 7- August 28, 2009

Well, I guess the defining feature of today was that I finally got my camera. Hence the photo. I’m sort of breaking from the chronological format of previous posts, but hey- it’s my blog.

Got a call in the morning from Michael’s Camera Store telling me that it had come in (must better than the expected date of September 13), so I was pretty pleased. After going to the gym and to my music tute (in which we listened to Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley), I went down to the shop to get it.

In case you haven’t heard (and I can’t be bothered checking whether I’ve told the story earlier in the blog, so I’ll just write it out in full), I was meant to get the Nikon D60 for my birthday and use it to start this blog. But then Nikon discontinued the D60 and I had to get the D3000. They told me it would come out on my birthday, but it didn’t. Then they told me it would come out in a month, but it came out today. Sigh. It’s all good now.

Anyway, apart from some interesting uni reading I had to do today on the linguistics of homosexual culture, that is my story. Went to the camera shop, and spent about an hour waiting for the camera to be sent down from the warehouse and for the payment to come through and for this, that and the other. To my amusement, there was an employee called Jesus, who kept running around with one of those puzzles where you have to unhook the loops (don’t know what they’re called). He was making a godawful (how ironic) noise because the chains were massive and looked like they were salvaged from the slavery era. So he was running around and performing his magic trick for everyone.

So today wasn’t that exciting to talk about. It was pretty cool for me, getting my hands on the camera and taking a few shots. Today’s photo isn’t really that relevant, but I didn’t really have anythign to photograph, so I just took some photos on my way home. Hopefully, I’ll get to photograph some interesting things soon. Again, check out my Flickr page, there’s a few more there.

Day 6- August 27, 2009

Today wasn’t at all that exciting. To begin with, I only got to sleep around 2.30 last night, so when I woke up this morning, I was in somewhat of a zombie-like stage. A zombie that needed coffee.

First off was my Psych tute. We discussed conformity for some time and watched a video of the Asch experiment in which gullible people gave the wrong answers to obvious questions simply because that’s what everybody else was doing.

Our activity was to replicate the old stare-and-point-at-the-sky-to-see-how-many-people-you-can-fool gag, so we were given worksheets and told to go and trick the general public. The idea was that we would first see what the effects were of one person gazing and pointing at nothing in particular on the behaviour of passers-by, and then trying it with larger groups.

After much deliberation over who would start the experiment, who would then join in, who would be recording the number of people who stopped to look, what the secret signal would be for more and more people to join the group and other confusing miscellea, we finally took the tram down to Melbourne Central to perform this so-called experiment. Apologies to anybody who was there today and wondered exactly a dozen or so people were standing and pointing at the top of the Shot Tower.

Today’s photo is one I took of the group standing in the middle of the shopping centre and pointing fingers, pretending to excitedly call friends and other actions designed to give the impression that something spectacular was going on. In the end, we all decided that it probably could have been pulled off slightly better, there were many extraneous variables that were not controlled for and we all looked like rather a group of idiots. So we bailed back to the uni.

After my Self and Other tute (in which we analysed Holocaust museum pamphlets for some reason), I had a grand total of four hours until my next lecture. I spent it, of course, sitting in a study room, reading articles about social networks for my extremely vague Psychology essay, in the process learning that being friends with obese people is more likely to make you obese and that depression is contagious (how depressing).

Finally, another lecture and then home as quickly as possible to feed my grumbling stomach! (Leftover schitznel and vegetable lasagne).

Day 5- August 26, 2009

Nobody fell asleep on top of me on the train this morning, which was pleasant. Unfortunately, the train made this BEEP BEEP BEEP noise every five seconds, which totally ruined the mood. But then good news! The manager of a local deli/cafe called me back, so it looks like I have a job! Woo! I’m going to have to think of less exciting things to say, because this exclaimation mark usage is getting out of hand.

Anyway, so I was pretty pleased because it’s a local place and I’ve been looking for cafe work for the last couple of weeks since doing a barista course (see Monday’s post). I’m waiting for the manager to figure out the roster and call back, but apparently I start next week. It’s at the end of the strip of shops in Watsonia, so if you live nearby, come and give me a visit! (Sorry, I will stop with the exclaimation points now…)

Today, being Wednesday, is my most full day of the week, beginning with a two-hour lecture on Anarchism. The lecture theatre is in some new building and was obviously designed by architects on opioids (check it out for yourself). I intended to go to the gym afterwards, but I left my towel at home. How disappointing. (This story goes nowhere).

Today’s photo comes from a psychological experiment in which I participated. As part of my Psychology course, I have to participate in three hours of research experience per semester, which can be pretty interesting. Last semester, I participated in this extremely confusing experiment on “social perceptions” that involved rating paintings for artistic merit and saying how a mug with the Australian flag on it “made you feel”; as well as a particularly painful computer-based experiment in a darkened room that rapidly required you to estimate the average of two numbers (and repeat ad infinitum).

The one I did today was a series of memory tasks, starting with being shown the location of nine pictures on a 3×3 grid (above) and then having to recall it, then recalling word lists. I was really pleased with myself because I got some super-dooper high score by trying to make a story out of the items I had to remember. Heh. What an achievement.

It was also Maxim’s namesday today (as I mentioned yesterday), which was good fun because our aunt and grandma came over with some form of three dimensional Oxfam tic tac toe game that smelled exotic. We ate schnitzel and vegetable lasagne (which was good because I was STARVING!), and quite a variety of dessert to follow (see here). Yum!

Day 4- August 25, 2009

Back to uni today for the first time since I started this blog. I was quite sleepy in the morning, so I decided to take a bit of a nap on the train. Drifting in and out of wakefulness (the various beeping and PA noises of the train being not exactly calming), I realised at some point that this Indian guy had fallen asleep pretty much on top of me. I tried shoving him off, but he seemed pretty asleep, so I gave up and went to sleep myself. When I awoke again, he had gone. If you are an Indian male who got on the Hurstbridge line to the city today and fell asleep on top of a guy in an Astroboy tshirt, please contact me. We could be friends.

Anyway, so I got to uni (still asleep to some degree) and sat through a Psychology lecture. The lecturer’s name is Yoshi and he seriously looks about fifteen years old. The hour was mainly spent being grossed out by and giggling at the bodily noises of the somewhat phlegm-filled fellow behind us, but we also learned that if you anaesthetise monkeys and paint their faces, they will get freaked out. Figures.

Music lecture was pretty good- got to watch Elvis dancing and Pat Boone trying to be like Little Richard (not to mention Little Richard yelling incoherently). The lecturers are both Greek professors who smile too much, and I think there’s something going on between them.

Later on, decided to make something for my brother Maxim’s namesday tomorrow so I went through a few cookbooks and settled on raspberry crumble cupcakes. They were pretty easy and fun to make, and I’ve put the photos up on Flickr in my Food and Drink set. They taste pretty good, but the crumble is, um, crumbly.

I should probably explain today’s photo– I was walking through the university after my last lecture and thinking of what I could photograph for the blog. The whole point of the photos is so that I can look back in a few years’ time and go “ohhhhhhhhhhh that was the day I did/saw/was assaulted by X”. As soon as I had had that thought, I turned the corner and saw this larger-than-life model/statue/tribute to Dr Zoidberg of Futurama fame. I presume it was part of the Prosh Week activities at uni, which I don’t understand very much. Needless to say, you don’t see a 15 foot tall Dr Zoidberg every day, so I decided to make this today’s photo.