Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Love me, love me, say that you love me

I've been on a several planes but no one has ever written me a plane letter. You can totally change that. Y'all have eleven days to write the most kick arse letters to keep me entertained on the twenty one hours and thirty seven minutes I'll be spending in the air.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Favouritest Place

While Mum now seems pretty keen to turn my bedroom into Adele's Art Studio, I’m not really that fussed seeing as I’ll be on the other side of the world and all, but I feel like I should document the awesomeness of my beloved childhood room. I remember when I first considered the prospect of moving out; I really wasn’t keen on leaving my bedroom more than anything else. It took me way too long to realise that I can move all the posters and shit on my walls to where ever I go. I know this is only vaguely related to going on exchange (I’ve had a couple of comments now about the fact that I haven’t even left, yet I’ve got “so much to say”) so I’m sorry if this isn’t that interesting for you. This is more of a mushy personal record entry for posterity or something lame and sentimental. And you know, if you don’t like it, get off your bum and stop wasting time on the interwebz. I’ll let you know when I’ve actually left the country (in eighteen days).

So. To those still left/Future Sian, when I come back to read this/those who have realised the interwebz is where it's at, welcome to my lair:

This is my bedroom door. Since I was little, it has freaked me out to stand in our hallway with all the doors closed and the hall light on – which I had to do to take this photo. I have no idea why but it gives me the heeby jeebies (no, I’m not claustrophobic). These posters have sections of Homer and Bart Simpson and Ralph Wiggum’s (from The Simpsons, the popular TV Show, dear Out of Touch People) brain humorously labelled. Mum thinks it’s appropriate for a Psych student to have on her wall. I think it’s appropriate for anyone with a decent sense of humour/taste in TV shows to have on their wall. The small squares either side of Homer’s poster are pirukira from Japan. You know, the crazy booth photos that Japanese kids go nuts over. Well we went nuts over them too. This is the only one of me that I have on the computer (read: on facebook), in case you don’t know what I’m talking about (totally narrowed it down by describing something that Japanese kids ‘go nuts over’):



This wall is opposite my bedroom door and also my bed. As in when I lie in bed, this is the wall I face. So I stare at it a whole-freakin’-lot. I chose the colour of the walls when I was about eight or something. I remember taking ages to choose and decided on this mauve based on the tiniest portion of a decorated Easter tin I had. I went through a short Teen Angst Phase of hating it and wanting black walls, but I kind of love it again now.

Some of my favourite things on this wall include:

The paper bag on the far right, from the first time I went to Ezra Pound, the super hipster bar (it’s just not right drinking a king brown unless it’s out of a paper bag).

My collection of postcards and cool birthday cards on the other side of the window (the blinds of which are rarely open).

The map of the Tokyo underground - it’s all in Japanese, the other side has English on it, but I think this side is cooler despite not being able to read it.

The poster of the girl on the phone - I bought it from the Art Deco exhibition at NGV, she has this awesome look on her face and watches me all the time, if I believed in angels/spirits/anything not based in science I’d possibly ad a comment about the spirit world – but really it’s just awesome art, that I struggled to keep rinkle free on the flight home.

My Shrine to Alcohol, as Dad calls it,on the bookshelf - actually I’m recycling vodka bottles – which have cool designs on them, anyway – to hold my gazillions of necklaces. Although I did consume the vodka first, if you want to get technical.

It’s not hugely clear in the photo, but some of the postcards and photos underneath the poster have fallen off. This happens a whole lot in my room when we have a few hot days in a row and the bricks in our house heat up which melts the blu-tac and makes me too lazy to pick them up and put them back.

A few things of note here:

Poster of Gossip Girl Cast: They’re a bunch of sexy people, okay? Sure season 3 sucks balls but the first two seasons where freakin’ addictive. Chuck and Blair anyone?

Map Of Melbourne: I like Melbourne and I like maps.

Horse Poster: My friend, Ella, gave this to me for my 18th birthday as we both went through pretty intense Surrealism Obsessions. I also like it because it’s in my first year Psych text book. I used to stare at it when I got bored studying perception (which was often. Perception ain’t that great.)

Smack-That-ula: My friend Julia and I have a personal joke of ‘smacking that’ after drunkenly posing for a photo while dancing to ‘Smack That’ by the lyrical genius Akon, in Year 12. Basically a Smack-That-ula is a spatula that aids in the act of smacking. That. It was a birthday present.

Picture of Helena Bonham Carter: If there was a movie that depicted her watching paint dry for two and half hours, I would PAY to see it. She is ah-may-zing. I fookin’ love her as Bellatrix Lestrange. And I’m totally into the whole having-a-separate-house-to-your-husband thing. Genius.

Actually I just thought about the reality of that. It’s kinda depressing. I still luff her, though.

The Strokes Poster: I saw them in Year 11 when they came to Perth. I remember it was a Wednesday (it says so on the poster) and I had a lit essay to write in last period before I got the bus home with my friend, Stench. I was supposed to be writing about The Lovesong of J. R. Prufrock by T. S Eliot but all I could think about was Sian’s Love of The Strokes by OHMYGODI’MSEEINGTHEMINFOURHOURS.

My Bed: You will never sleep in another bed more comfortable than mine. Probably. Maybe. It’s really only good for one person, as it FORCES you to spoon. Not because it’s a single but because of the giant dip in the middle. You just roll together, no matter how much you don’t want to be touching. I’m a big advocate for spooning, but no one likes forced spoonage. It has to be consensual. Even if it is just with the dog.

The posters above my bed include movie flyers of classics and arthouse cinema releases of Rear Window, Annie Hall, Easy Rider, Juno, The Painted Veil, Inland Empire, Control, The Dead Girl and also the lift out from Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveShow DVD.

Yes, that pink thing on my stereo is a lamp shade. No, there is not a lamp underneath it.

Above the chair is an ad I pulled out of a Melbourne magazine for an event at a bar called “No Undie Sundie” and is described as being about “all champas and wet pussies”. Free drinks go to ladies who flash their bra to the staff or hang their undies on the line above the bar. I find this simultaneously disgusting and hilarious.

The red leather chair belongs to my darling sister Steph. When she moved to Queensland with her boyf, Dean, she gave it to me and said to love it as if it were my own. And I totally do because look how cool it looks in my room. She said I should probably wash it because her fat, gross housemate used to sit on it all day which made her cringe. I’m far too lazy for that, but it has a more important use now anyway, as you can see; holding my Recently Worn Clothes and Yet To Be Altered Op Shop Purchases.

The cross-stitch of the possum was made by grandmother when I was born (I think? Whatever. When I was a young’un. Family members on my Dad’s side call me Possum; don’t you dare.)

Lano and Woodley: I loved watching their TV show back before anyone knew who they were in the 90s (I totally liked them before they were cool!). I saw their last live show in 2007. Mum nicked the poster for me.

Dick Butt: One night in Tokyo, my friend Chris and I didn’t feel like going to bed with the others so we stayed up drinking beer and talking to the other people from the hostel in the common room. Around 2am we started chatting to this drunk American guy, Arthur. Arthur had a big dagger that he claimed he had somehow got through customs and into the country, which he was now using to slash all eight of the leather couches in the common room, looking for loose change to buy more cigarettes (incidentally this was how I found my camera that I used to take these photos, as in, I found someone’s camera down the back of the couch and kept it because I had broken mine the week before). Arthur also took down some of the signs about closing the door and window past 11pm (we re-opened it anyway) and replaced them with his own sign of Dick Butt. Then he gave me one, featured here. I just like saying that a Drunk American with a Big Knife gave it to me.

This wall probably features the most important and most loved thing in my room. The giant mirror. When I was staying in my friend’s host family’s house in Osaka it really irked me that the whole (given, very small) house had only one tiny bathroom mirror. When you’re used to one of your bedroom walls being a reflective surface you just kind of get used to constantly knowing what you look like. It’s possibly also a contributing factor to why I talk to myself all the time. If my shoebox room in Illinois doesn’t have a mirror you’d better believe I’ll be purchasing one from Walmart or fashioning one out of the shiny side of al foil (a-LOO-mi-num) at the very least. (No, I’m not wearing pants in this photo. Pants are overrated.)

This ended up being a whole lot longer than I intended. Whatever, I think I’ll appreciate it later when I get homesick/I come home and Mum has destroyed my den. I was going to apologise again but I know you secretly enjoyed it, you nosy freaks.

If you want to be continue perving and judging people based on their bedrooms, check out this website. I’d totally be into someone taking a photo of me like this.


And now for Something Actually Related to Exchange: I recently discovered that three of the units (actually, they’re called courses in the US) I wanted to do at UIUC aren’t available this semester. While this is super annoying in itself (I have to find more courses and go through the knicker-twisting ordeal of getting approval from UWA, made even more annoying because no one is replying to my emails because its so close to xmas), two of these courses (Understanding Suicide and an Art History course called Graffiti and Murals) were the reason I chose Illinois as my first preference. Vermont was my second preference. Eugh.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ludachristmas

My friend Lloyd is leaving in January for exchange in Sweden. We’re throwing a party this Saturday at The Deen, as a 'last chance to get drunk with Sian and Lloyd' kind of thing. Ordinarily The Deen is a horrible, horrible place and I would never want to go there. But students get discounts to hire out a private function room, cheap drinks for three hours and we can play our own music. This is what happened after the last Deen Party I went to:


You'd think that beer bottle is filled with beer but it's actually wine. The balloons were taken from some hipster party we crashed and a display thing in a car yard. I can't remember where we found the trolly. I'm not sure why I'm standing/posing like that even though I'm pretty sure I knew Lloyd was taking a photo of me (I seem to remember demanding that someone take a photo).


After much protesting my friends eventually agreed to push me in the trolly. They even enjoyed it, as indicated by the smiles.

I know I did.

So judging by these photos I’m guessing the details of Saturday night will be a little bit blurry. And considering I have work at 8am on Sunday, it may take me a little longer to recover before I can blog about it coherently. So basically I’m making a pre-emptive post to say that it was great seeing everyone (thanks for coming!) and I had an awesome time at Ludachristmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Michelin Man

I went shopping with Mum yesterday to get some winter clothes that are appropriate for the Northern Hemisphere. Seeing as my system for Perth winters (layering shitty cotton on cardies and granny jumpers from good sammy's) is barely appropriate for the mild weather we get, some radical changes need to be made to my winter wardrobe to cope with dry snow (as in, it's so cold it's dry) in minus 20 degree DAYS. It’s not even that hot at the moment and I’m struggling to imagine it being that cold.

After looking in all FIVE of the mountaineering/hiking shops along Hay Street, I finally spoke to a sales guy who lived in Iowa. He basically said I’m going to freeze my tits off and will need several million layers of thermals and a down jacket. So I ended up buying a black goose down (better than duck down according to the woman at Kathmandu) jacket. This means I will look like this:

Except I will have normal shaped/sized legs. And I’ll be wearing Dr Martens, so I’ll be Michelin Man with cool shoes.

I can think of two situations that I would describe as The Coldest Times of My Life.

1) After white water rafting at Margaret River on Year 9 Camp in an ill-fitting wetsuit, I was so cold I couldn't walk properly back to the oh so inviting hot shot showers and dry bus.

2) Half way up Mt Fuji, after climbing in constant wind, rain and sub zero temperatures (while wearing inappropriate pants and footwear) for the majority of the night, I was so cold that my nipples hurt (actually freezing my tits off!).

Something tells me that these Coldest Times of My Life won't be the Coldest Times of My Life for much longer.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Odelle The Contiki Salesbitch

When I first started looking at flights I went into Flight Centre at Warwick Shopping Centre after getting stupendously confused and then yelling at the computer trying to look at Around the World Tickets online. Odelle was a friendly, slightly boganish (the inflection in her voice went up at the end of every sentence. I know that doesn't make someone a bogan but it annoys me and she worked at Warwick, so...you know....) blonde girl. She said she wouldn’t be able to give me the prices straight away and instead would have to find out what I wanted to do and then send away for the taxes and availability and contact me later with prices. I said that was fine except I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do so I made up some rough dates and locations.

I understand that people who work for certain companies might get commission from various products and that’s fair enough that they have have to plug it, but Odelle didn’t seem to understand that she was plugging to a customer who wasn't interested. Which in the end just made me want to go to another Flight Centre. And book a contiki tour with someone else, out of spite.

Me: Okay so I have to be in Chicago on the 12th at the very latest. I’d aim to leave Perth on about the 9th or 10th.

Odelle: Okay sure. And how long to do you want to be in Chicago for?

Me: Well I’m studying near Chicago for 5 months and then I want to travel around The States. So all up shall we say 7 months?
Odelle: Oh you’re travelling? You should look in to doing a Contiki tour. They’re so much fun, you save a tonne of money and meet heaps of great people.

Me: Um yeah...I’m not really interested in a Contiki tour at this point.

Odelle: I went on a Contiki tour last year. It was....so much fun!

Me: Yeah I’m sure it was. I’ve got friends and family in America so I’m happy to travel independently at this point. After America, I want to go to England to work, save up money and travel around Europe. Lets say for another 5 months.

Odelle: Oh Europe! You should look into doing a contiki tour!

Me:...Yeah... I’m sure I’d have a ball if I went on one; my friends recently went on a contiki tour around Europe and I know they all had an awesome time and I might look into it later, but I’m just not interested at this point, thanks.

Odelle: Okay. Where else would you like to go? Maybe Singapore or somewhere in Asia on the way home?
Me: Um, I’ve already been to Singapore...oh could I go to Greece on the way home?

Odelle: Yep. Oh you should do a Contiki tour around the Greek Islands! It would be a great way to see the country!

Me:...I have family in Greece as well so I think I’ll be okay for the moment, thanks...

After she’s taken my details and I get up to leave she asks if I want any brochures or travel information.

Me: Actually yeah, I’d love one on North America.

Odelle: Oh, we’ve actually run out of those at this point. Would you like some information on Contiki Tours?

Me: ....

Look Odelle, if I wanted to get drunk with a bunch of Australians, I’d save myself several thousands of dollars and stress dreams about Voldemort stealing all my money after chasing me through an airport, and stay in Australia.


In other news, my US Visas arrived in the mail today. They look pretty damn cool in my passport. And so they should. They cost a mere $724. That's only fifty hours of listening to the same five fucking CDs over and over again, pretending to know about olive oil flavours, selling raspberry twisters (I really don't understand why it's so popular) to rude and ugly kids; ginger (in every form) to middle aged women and vanilla tea to that DILF who's signature I've memorised.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Obligatory Explanation Post

With flights booked, visa interview scheduled and Mum already making plans to turn my bedroom into her studio (“the light’s not really good enough and you need to clean up aaaalllll this mess”), the reality of moving to America for 7 months is slowly setting in. Every now and again it just hits me. And I have a moment of HOLY FUCKING GOD I’M LEAVING LIFE AS I KNOW IT WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS OH MY GOD?! But in a good, healthy, not at all stressed out kind of way. But then 13 minutes later something about living in Perth will annoy me or I’ll start to resent my current daily routine of sleep, work and facebook and I’ll be all THANK FUCKING GOD I’M LEAVING LIFE AS I KNOW IT OH MY GOD!

I’m starting this blog as a way to let friends and family know what I’m up to. And also because the Study Abroad Office recommended keeping a blog to combat homesickness (because writing to the abyss of cyberspace is totally the same as talking to someone you miss in person). Rather than sending mass emails home every time a few mildly exciting things happened (like I did when I went to Japan) you can keep up to date with my banal thoughts every time I have a spare moment to update and I won’t have to struggle trying to remember all the people I sent the last email too. And also because I somewhat regret not writing about stuff that happened in Japan, most memories of which have been lost with the many brain cell casualties of binge drinking.

For those who don’t know, have forgotten or stumbled across my blog when you misspelled “Stan does a broad” in your google search (I just googled that, it’s really not exciting) here is the plan so far:

(You totally just googled it too, right?)

I leave on the 9th of January to go on exchange at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (or Champagne-in-a-bottle as Dad calls it).

Every second person I’ve said this to has replied with a blank look and one or all of the following questions; “which coast is that on?”, “is Illinois the state or the city?”, “so it’s near New York?” Rather than making jokes about these questions (because most of the people who asked those questions are likely to be reading this and also because before I applied for exchange I’m not sure I knew where Illinois was either) I’ll just go ahead and give you the details (I made pictures!).

Illinois (the state) is on the east of the Central West states and shares boarders with Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana and Lake Michigan.

Urbana-Champaign are twin cities located in East Central Illinois and is 225km south of Chicago. The campus of UIUC spreads across the two cities, making it a university town. The population of the twin cities is 100, 000. 40, 000 of whom are students at the university. This is twice as many as UWA’s population. At 595 hectares, the campus is nine times bigger than UWA.

I am enrolled for the Spring Semester of 2011 which is from January to May. This will be my last semester of my undergraduate degree (I need to study more to be able to do anything with Psychology which I’m not really interested in doing at the moment). Thanks to my apparent lack of comprehension skills when reading the housing contract (but I was so good at comprehension in year 7!) I will definitely be staying in a residence hall. Although I worked out that it would have been cheaper to stay in an apartment and I was kind of looking forward to an apartment, the residence hall accommodation was actually one of the reasons I applied for exchange in the first place because I wanted the typical American Uni Experience. It will be a great way to meet people and make friends but it looks like I might have to share a room with someone else which I’m really not keen on doing for 5 months. So unless I cough up $2000, get married or join the army I’ll just have to suck it up and wear pajamas, stop talking to myself so much and live with another person in my shoebox room.

I want to travel around The States after semester for a couple of months as I have friends and family who live there/are also on exchange. I’ll then be going to London as soon as I’ve spent all my money (probably sooner than I expect) to work and do whatever. I really haven’t planned that far ahead. I don’t have a ticket home at this point.

Feel free to comment on posts so I know I'm not talking to the abyss of cyberspace and send me emails (or even better - snail mail!) to let me know what's happening in Perf. I also have skype, if you want to have one of those semi-awkward-face-to-face-let's-stare-at-each-other-while-we-talk-it's-the-dodgy-connection-on-my-end chats.