Sunday, May 22, 2011

Showering with the millipedes

This is just a bit about the wildlife that seems so intent on staying in my house, and as a result, the subsequent adventures we seem to have. Since I gave them the title, I suppose I’ll start with the millipedes. Also known as crunchies here, these little black skinny bugs are probably the most harmless and least annoying of them all. They just kind of inch along until you touch them and as soon as you do, they swoop themselves into a curly little ball. If your mean and still stomp on it, or if you happen to not see it, or they’re littered all over a path so that you can’t avoid stepping on them, they make a crunch sound (hence the nickname). The most annoying thing is that you find these little buggers (no pun intended, ok, maybe just a bit) pretty much everywhere. I’ve been fortunate enough to not find any in the pots in my house, but I’ve seen them in other people’s. The most unfortunate, for them I suppose, place that they do have a tendency to be is in the shower with me. Through a combination of showering with them, and seeing their dead bodies infest the pool, I can say with much certainty that millipedes can’t swim. They do however put a quite a fight when trying to avoid the water (and the steam) in the shower. The first time this happened, the millipede was doing quite an impressive job of avoiding the flow of the water. Unfortunately for him(/her?), I was taking an exceptionally long shower that day, and so it, like all of his predecessors, suffered the same fate…the DRAIN!!! I guess I don’t know heaps about millipedes (or drainage systems), but I suppose they could somehow survive that…maybe.

The next bug that plagued my house initially, but not so much anymore as the weather is getting quite chilly, is one of my arch nemeses, the MOSQUITO. Evil little things, and these, I know to be female, cause they were eating me alive. At one point I was even convinced that I might have been bit by a spider (suppose that can’t be a hundred percent ruled out as I don’t really know what a spider bite looks like) but they were seemingly biting me in the same place over and over again, and at one point, my calf muscle was so swollen and sore, I couldn’t even shave my legs. Anyhow, that was definitely the most annoying which is what brings me to the pets that I had in my room.

They were two daddy long-leg spiders, which I neglected to name until this moment. They shall now be called and forever remembered as The Enforcer and Julia (that’s a soft J sound btw). The Enforcer was in the corner of my room above the door, while Julia resided in the opposite corner near the head of my bed. I generally have a fear of spiders (even though daddy long-legs are said to be harmless), but I honestly don’t mind them as long as they stay in their corners and don’t come down to Shalyse can touch you level. Plus, I figured they could make a nice addendum to my mosquito repellent that was so epically failing. We chilled harmoniously together for about a week if not more, and then, to my dismay (my nerve-wracking dismay) I lost them. One day, I had to pet spiders and the next day they were gone. Hopefully I didn’t eat them in my sleep, but to this day, I haven’t the foggiest of what happened to The Enforcer and Julia (remember, soft J).

Speaking of spiders, I’d be remiss if I left out the spider wars that I fight each week with the ones that insist on making webs on my clothesline. I take a stick from the mulch a hack away at webs so I can hang my clothes. The next week I go to hang clothes again, and there seems to be double the amount of web. At some points its getting in my face, annoying, and web is always all over the clothespins. They’re ridiculously persistent little creatures, but the war most go on…until I leave, cause I’m pretty sure both of my housemates do their laundry at home on the weekends.

I think that’s it for the wildlife in my house; thankfully we’re free of the mice that are present in the halls, and everywhere else, including the cafeteria…gross!!! We even have a mouse that seems to be regularly attending the the Bible study each week. I assume he lives in the chapel. There are also the ginormous spiders all around the rest of the campus, and the stray cats and foxes. I saw a couple of bats flying around one night, and I finally saw a possum. Just an fyi, Aussie possums are a lot cuter than the American ones…and not all of them are in the form of road kill. This one I saw was chillin in a tree snacking on some leaves. Oh, and lastly, the tree bugs, or at least that’s what I call them. I suppose that these fit in the category of still in my house and getting on my nerves, or IMHaGOMN (pronounce Im-hag-omen) bugs. They’re these little black bugs that somehow fit through the screen, and in smaller amounts manage to get into the house at night even when the windows are shut. They’re just annoying cause they fly around and die on stuff, and land on food, and just annoy you. No one wants involuntary black spotted wallpaper that gives the illusion of crawling…oh wait that’s no illusion, but yeah, they’re kind of gross. I am once again thankful though, for the house in which I live because I’ve seen others that are much worse. And lastly, to end, I thank God that we don’t have bedbugs.

The End

PS: I'd like to give a personal shout-out to Jada-poo!

Until next time, be thankful in all things and find humor in the annoying ones.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Driving a stick in Australia

Down under you can drive hands free!
Did you know that no matter what side of the road you drive on in Australia, you're driving on the right side of the road? If you're driving on the left side of the road, that's the right (correct side to drive on, but if you're driving on the right side, although that is incorrect, and likely to increase your chances of an accident, you're still right.

I guess the weirdest parts were remembering to turn onto the correct side of the road, and the gear changing (manual case you didn't know what a stick is). The turning I suppose is a bit self explanatory in the fact that it's obviously just different, but the gear changing was by far the weirdest. The steering wheel is on the right side of the car which is opposite, but the funny thing is that the ignition is still on the right side of the steering wheel, so it's only half opposite. However, the gear shift is still in the same place and the gears are in the same directions. So now, instead of 1st gear being forward and toward me, it is forward and away from me, so with relation to me, which is how I generally remember the gear directions, 1, 2, 5, and reverse are opposite. 3 and 4 are still the same. Oh, and to top that, I'm switching gears with my left hand. Good thing I'm semi-ambidextrous.

That's it for this post...have I lost my long-windedness?!? No worries, it'll be back.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life Lessons from Netty

Be surprised! This is actually going to be a normal length, if not fairly short post. Well, anything in comparison to my last post short of a novel would be considered short…unless I wrote a 5 or 6 page post I guess. But anyhow, let me stop rambling and get on with the story.

I know some of you are wondering who Netty is, and what kind of name that is. Well, it’s not a name or a person, so now you are probably wondering why I capitalized it, as it’s not even a proper noun. I am actually wondering that as well, but it’s been done now, so I guess we’ll just deal with it. Anyhow, I had my first netball game on yesterday. Like many things in Australia, people shorten words, and netball proves to be no different. Football=footy, netball=netty, sunglasses=sunnies, and Waldo (the guy in the red and white striped shirt that no one can ever find)=Wally. Anyhow, this blog is about my first netball game.

First, I realize that people from America generally don’t know what netball is because we don’t play it in our country. I’d never heard of it, but with the shrink in campus size, I can’t use my walk to class as sufficient exercise, so I thought I’d join a sport, and this one sounded fun. Basically, it’s kind of like basketball minus the dribbling and backboard. Once you have the ball, you have to pass it before you can run again, and there’s less contact than basketball. Now, for you basketball lovers, you’re probably like, that doesn’t sound like much fun, but really it’s a lot of fun…and it’s quite a different game from basketball, that was just the easiest familiar sport to liken it to. It’d be like trying to describe volleyball to someone who only knows how to play badminton. “It’s like badminton, without the racket and you replace the racket with a ball.” That doesn’t do much justice to either game. So, watch this link, and see what netball is. (rules) (part of a game)

As you may or may not be able to tell, it requires a completely different skill set than basketball. It takes a lot of self-control to not contact someone. That was the first of the two lessons that playing my first game taught me. Going from someone who frequently filed other players in basketball where contact is allowed to an extent, not throwing my hands up to block a pass (which was very instinctive) is a hard thing not to do, as you must be 3 feet away from the person that you’re defending before putting your hands up. The other thing that’s quite difficult is catching the ball while running or jumping through the air, and then stopping…? I got called for stepping so many times. Along with some other broken rules, and that brings me to my other life lesson.

It’s quite humbling to play a game where you don’t know all the rules. Half the time the whistle was blown, I had no clue why, what was happening, who was supposed to have the ball, and where I was supposed to be. I was even getting called on stuff I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do. They coach you to hold your opposing player away from where you don’t want them…but apparently, you’re not allowed to physically touch them, even if they don’t have the ball. I found that out when I got called for contact for holding my opponent off with my forearm, as you’d do in basketball when someone’s all up in your space. Old habits die hard, I suppose. It also didn’t help that one of our umpires (same as a referee) was hoarse, the courts were outside next to the train tracks so trains were occasionally passing, there were like 10 other games happening simultaneously, and there were a crap load of corellas (cockatoo-like birds) chirping over head that made it impossible for me to hear a good number of the calls. But it was all good. Although we got slaughtered (56-21 I think?) it was heaps fun, and I’m just thankful that by the time the game started it had stopped raining, cause the courts are outside, and if you know me well enough, you’ll know that I don’t like getting wet in most circumstances.

Well, that’s all for this one. Not short, but reasonable.

May you find ways to grow from life’s random lessons.