989
Feeling: burdened

4:50 Late Friday Afternoon (8 Jan 2010)  

Missed the New Years Resolution Post

But I don't mind.

 

Diary of NZ Trip Dec09/Jan10 is as follows:

Dec 23 (USA time; Wednesday)- Lunching at Red Iguana with parents, flirty waiter, mediocre enchilada (ew, mushroom sauce and 10 tonnes of cheese), deelliccious sopas. Spending hours waiting for flight (was an hour wait, on top of getting to the airport 2 hours early for international flight connection). Find out Brittany Murphy died a couple days ago of heart failure. DISMAYED. Fly to LAX, run to terminal 2 from terminal 6, with an hour and a half to check in and get through security. 10:30 pm departure from LAX on a 14 hr V Australia flight, which was as pleasant as a long haul flight in economy can be. Watching recent movies and enjoying in-seat usb charger. can you say infinite sailor moon? yes! thank you.

Dec 24 (Thursday)- Does not exist, flewying over int'l date line

Dec 25 (Oz time; Friday) - Arrive in Sydney 6:03 am. Spend about an hour past customs and immigration wondering whether to pay AU$50 return to take the train downtown, or spend the rest of the 13 hour layover meandering about the airport. End up forking out the cash and wander around Ghost Town Sydney . Intend to go to the beach and the zoo, but end up walking around the Sydney Opera House and wandering through the Royal Botanical Gardens. Despair that everything but fast food joints and convenience stores is closed, proceed to purchase juice at said convenience store and lunch at said fast food joint. Eventually make our way into China Town, where the people come to life and it is as busy as an other day. Enjoy christmas dinner of satay noodles at Thai-style noodle booth in a food court in China Town. Take train back to airport, where I am insulted by the outgoing immigration officer. He tells Caleb that he has done a disservice to the gene pool of New Zealand by marrying an American. I respond with indignance and tell Immi officer that I imagine I am going to improve the gene pool, to which he replies "yes, the AMERICAN gene pool." Take cold shower past security in international terminal. feel delightfully clean after ~30 hours on ugh-y planes and in muggy weather. Fly out of Sydney on Pacific Blue where the only food you get you have to pay for - need I say that we failed to eat on the flight?

Dec 26 (NZ time; Saturday) - Arrive technically on the 25th, 10 minutes to midnight. Customs. Ride to Caleb's folks house with John and Zeb, have a snack of samosas, and chat for about an hour or so with the parties who brought us home. Get driven back to the airport around 2 am seeing as we have a flight at 6:45 this morning that no one wants to wake up to drive us to. Watch infomercials in international terminal while waiting for domestic terminal to open up. Check in, deposit bags, play Henry Hatsworth on Caleb's DS until boarding time. Board. Fly Pacific Blue (no food, once again) to Auckland. Get picked up by Caleb's folks, who buy us breakfast at McDonalds. Ride ~2 hours in the car to Auntie Rachel's in Waikato region. Meet a bunch of people I've barely even heard of. Get hugged by a bunch of people I've barely even heard of. Have Christmas lunch followed by scripture reading of Jesus' birth. 5-year-old cousins are asked whose birthday it is we're celebrating, sing happy birthday to Jesus. Sing a multitude of Christmas Carols. Play Bible Pictionary with sis-in-law and younger cousins. Watch chick flick with older girl cousins and, oddly, bro-in-law and father-in-law. Sleep on a real bed for first time since Wednesday.

Dec 27 (NZ time; Sunday) - Have breakfast. Pack picnic lunch and go to Waitomo Caves (with Glowworms! and stalactites! etc!) with caleb and in-laws. Buy punnets of strawberries from roadside fruit store. Eat lunch. Enjoy the stalactites, glowworms, etc. Visit the Waitomo caves museum. Drive to the West coast (Raglan) and jump around at the beach as well as have a swim. Drive back to Auntie Rachel's for tea. Stay up late talking to Caleb's 2nd oldest cousin who's about to go to the US to marry his fiancee at the end of January. Bed ourselves around midnight.

Dec 28 (NZ time; Monday) - Breakfast. drive to the eastern coast to stay at Auntie Jocelyn's place. Visit Caleb's granddad at Mt Maunganui. Drive and then park at the beach very far away from the nearest changing station. Walk to nearest changing station. change. walk back, picking up shells and what have you along the way.  Play in the water, build a sand unicorn, and get sunburned.  Go back to Caleb's auntie's house for tea.  watch movie with Caleb's cousins. Bed.

Dec 29 (NZ time; Tuesday) - Breakfast.  Drive to Rotorua for about 2 hours.  Smell Rotorua's sulfur-y goodness.  Find "secret" hot pools that are actually just wide, slow-moving areas of creeks.  Sit for 10 minutes or so in a 45 C hot "pool" before deciding it is far too hot.  Get out, have picnic lunch, drive to next hot "pool".  Sit in hot pool which is at varying temperatures due to it being a meeting of two creeks - the really hot river and a normal cold river - for about 30 minutes.  Drive to see bubbly mud geysers.  Drive through back to Rotorua.  Stop at random church by a Maori tribal meeting area.  Drive back to Auntie Jocelyn's. Tea. Bed.

Dec 30 (NZ time; Wednesday) - Breakfast.  Drive to small beach with few people.   Build massive sandcastle with siblings-in-law and a cousin's 5-year-old baby girl.  Jump around at the beach.  Drive back to Auntie J's for lunch.  Go to heated salt pools near Mt Maunganui beach. Say good bye to Caleb's grandfather for potentially the last time, which is very sad.  Drive back to Auntie Rachel's and hang out with Auntie/parents-in-law.  Call Roshan to see if he can pick us up from the airport the next day.  Go to bed.

Dec 31 (NZ time; Thursday) - Breakfast. Say goodbyes to Auntie Rachel. Drive to Airport.  Say goodbyes to parents-in-law. Check luggage, run through security, play Henry Hatsworth while waiting for the plane to land.  Fly to Christchurch.  Get picked up by Roshan and Lottie.  Plan for brunch on Saturday with them.  Find out Caleb's too sick to do anything for New Years. Call up Genie and follow her plans for the NY celebration.  Hang out with a bunch of people I don't know and Genie, not drinking much of anything, eating far too many crisps.  Run, literally, into town.  Get there at 11:59:50 pm, in time for the 10-9-8 countdown.

Jan 1 (NZ time; Friday) - Watch the fireworks.  Take lots of silly photos with people I don't know, have a raucously good time.  Get dragged around to crowded bars that I don't really want to go into.  Get driven home by Genie's friends.  Kiss Caleb's sick cheek for new years. bed. breakfast. don't remember anything else that day...potentially hang out with John &his girlfriend and watch really bad dragon ball z movie.  bed.

Jan 2 (NZ time; Saturday) - Brunch with Roshan & Lottie for a good long while.  Play with their cats and chat about politics and what have you.  Beautiful day eating french toast in their garden.  Consider going to beach.  Remembering little else, it's highlights from here on.

Jan 3-7 (NZ time; Sunday-Thursday) -Pretty much hang out with old school friends every night. the odd girly evening for me and the manly evening for caleb.  We also went to the beach at one point; on a day when the weather was good when we were at a crappy beach and then bad once we got to a nicer beach.  Also one of these days I went to see Zombieland with John's girlfriend Leanne while Caleb and John and Zeb and Tom and Ash sat around talking.

Jan 8 (NZ time; Friday) - Arthur's pass with tom and tom's friend, i think?  I see kias for the first time, and they are very cool. and I am very touristy.  Caleb's parents get back in the evening.  Go on adventure to Boulder Bay to look for Penguins.  Penguins are no where to be found.

Jan 9 (NZ time; Saturday) - Caleb's father's extended family around for tea.  watch wedding video.  talk. enjoy company.

Jan 10 (NZ time; Sunday) - Church.  Church comes round for lunch. watch wedding video. again.  Possibly hanging out with school friends again?

Jan 11 (NZ time; Monday) - Go to Caleb's grandma's for morning tea.  Look through the series of paintings she has done.  Pick out two to keep.  Listen to her relate to us about her youth in wartime New Zealand.  Look around her garden, which is beautiful.  Envy the climate for being able to grow lilies outside. and lots of berries.

Jan 12 (NZ time; Tuesday) - Hang out with Genie in town, eat lunch of sushi-of-the-day (smoked salmon, yum). wander around to the south city mall. look for window-decal printable sheets for making laptop stickers.  Meander into several small shoppes on our way back.  Enjoy bubble tea/slushies.  Home.  Girl's night w/Vetti and Alyssa and Laura while guys are camping.

Jan 13 (NZ time; Wednesday) - Do some last hanging out with friends.  Watch most of Whip It with Genie.

Jan 14 (NZ&Australian time; Thursday) - pack. last minute shopping. airport. fly to Brisbane.  Everything around Brisbane Airport closes at 5, we get there at 5:30.  Wander into our hotel. Find out wireless internet costs too many $$ and isn't included with the night's stay. find a grocery store and get sandwich making stuff. eat dinner of sammies and bad powder soup in hotel room. Look at pool, take photos of Caleb swimming. 

Jan 15 (Australian&US time; Friday) - leave early in the morning to be at airport 3 hours before our flight (since the bomb attempt on christmas, that is what was suggested for international flights to the US for security purposes).  Get to V-Oz desk just in time for check in for the Brisbane-LA flight, but wait in line for ages because a bunch of V-Oz Phuket-bound passengers get to Brisbane late and their flight is leaving before ours.  Go through security with relative ease. Get told off for trying to have them scan my shoes (common practice in US, not common practice anywhere else).  Caleb pulled aside as we leave security for random explosives testing.  Caleb survives, having not been found with explosives.  Buy rum at duty free.  Go to gate, get told to leave gate for mandatory secondary security screening.  Go back through another security with randomized entire bag/body searches. get randomly selected for entire bag/body search.  Feel a bit embarrassed by my heavy packing and thousands of snacks.  finally get finished having my bag/body searched, to find that there are no more nice seats left in the waiting lounge.  Hear Caleb's and my name called on the intercom to come to the gate desk for check in.  Much confusion when they realize we've already checked in.  Our confidence in the passenger tracking system falters.  Finally board the V-Oz plane to LA, do not sleep at all on the flight.  Watch "Funny People" and "Mao's Last Dancer," in between playing games and drawing and eating food.  Arrive in LA, go through immigration, baggage claim, and customs which takes more than an hour.  Walk quickly to check in for domestic Delta flights.  check ourselves in at the kiosk thing.  go through security.  wait at gate for what feels like ages. Eat snacks and keep falling asleep.  Feel weird to be back in America.  Fly back to SLC.  Fall asleep almost entire flight.  Get picked up by Dad.  Drive back to L-town.  Collapse at home and try not to fall asleep but fail until dinner time.  Eat dinner at Tandoori Oven.  Go home. Watch Sailor Moon until it's bed time.  Fall asleep before head hits pillow on bed.

 

Then it was a long weekend and the first week of school last week. The first week of grad school.

The first. hellish. week. of grad school.

Started the clinical trial on Thursday, failed to retreive RNA samples in time for them to be processed and saved.  Stayed until after 9 pm trying to get a refridgerated centrifuge to work, called major professor in distress, who then actually came to the lab to try to help.  To no avail; centrifuge is dead.  Cry all night and hate my life.

Friday was slightly better for me, and much worse for the nurses and the lab lady, and we ran out of cell separation tubes so I still didn't get enough RNA samples to be worth it. not that it mattered because I really didn't have time to process the samples to begin with. ARGH. still stressed. still hate grad school and a little bit hate my life.

Had a very relaxing weekend and a GREAT day skiing on Sunday with looots of fresh powder.  felt a little bit better about life. Until that afternoon when I was working on my SAS homework with my dad and found out I was purged from all my classes on Friday because I forgot to pay my fees.  then I hated my life again. Dreaded waking up Monday.

Monday still didn't have the cell separation tubes but got a lot of other stuff done, including re-signing up for my classes. so that was good.  Also on Monday night Caleb and I hung out together and watched our favourite shows and talked about our financial situation and our plans for the future like when are we going to have kids and Caleb felt like we were going to be quite well off in the future and have enough money to buy a house in Christchurch (I dont' know if he was factoring kids into the equation when he was thinking these things, but his confidence in us is reassuring).  We are a little bit divergent when it comes to when we should have kids.  I think we should start trying in as soon as 3 years, and he thinks we should wait another 4 or 5 years.  It's still a decent way off though and it depends on if our financial status stays good and if I finish my masters in time and how long he'll have left for his PhD.  In any case I like when we talk about it so I felt good.

Today. a lot more relaxed.  Didn't have to sample from volunteers.  paid some bills, got some mortgage stuff and insurance stuff sorted out.  Called the tax people about my amended return, which has been processed.  Hopefully will have $8000 deposited in my checking account for buying a house for the first time.  Thanks Obama. Also in a week will hopefully have my first stipend amount deposited into my checking account, and Caleb and I will be even better prepared for  those expensive emergencies which are bound to pop up when you have a 90 year old house.

2010 has sort of had a bumpy start, but what year isn't bumpy?

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