Assorted things

Another big aftershock this morning. 5.5 – big enough to shake half the CDs off their shelf, but no damage. George, as usual, slept through it while MrPloppy and I cowered under the doorway.

I’ve had a very constructive weekend, for a change. Managed to get a whole load of little jobs done that have been on the “must get round to that sometime” list for ages. Like finally framing and hanging a few souvenirs I brought back from America:

A Native American sand painting miniature I bought at the Grand Canyon

More Native American art, this time from Mexico, which I got at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian

This is turning into my wall of the Americas – the other two pieces are from Canada and Hawai’i, from my 2008 trip

And some “found art”: a cheap plastic carnival mask I bought in New Orleans and thought was worth mounting – I reckon it looks quite impressive now 🙂

As well as lots of boring jobs (like sorting out MrPloppy’s accounts so we could do his tax returns), I managed another bit of creativity too: I finally pulled my lace pillow back out of the cupboard (where it’s been since the September earthquake, after which I wasn’t feeling all that creative), and started playing round again. I’ve had to pretty much go back to square one, having forgotten a lot in the meantime, but it’s coming back to me reasonably quickly (I just have to keep looking things up in my books).

The pink one is one I did in September trying out some new techniques, and the grey one and the one on the pillow are what I’ve done this weekend, using the same pattern but with slight variations.

In other news, my ESOL student has moved house, and is now just too far away for me to walk there, so I’ll have to take two buses. That should be fun, given how erratic the timetables are at the moment. I’ve told her we’ll give it a few weeks to see how it goes, but if it works out to be too difficult to get there I’ll have to ask them to find her a new tutor who lives closer. I hope not, because we’ve been working together for a couple of years now and have become good friends. We’ve got our first lesson since she shifted tonight, so hopefully I won’t have to spend too long standing in the cold waiting for buses…

After a lot of emailing back and forth with United, they’ve finally agreed to reimburse me for my expenses in LA. Well, most of them… they’re paying for the hotel, the taxi, one extra meal (they seemed to think wanting three meals over a 24 hour period was extremely extravagant of me), and a whole three minutes of my 14-minute phone call to NZ. Better than nothing, anyway (though I’m reserving final judgement until I actually get the money – apparently the cheque is in the mail…)

Oh, and to apologise for the inconvenience they gave me a 20% off voucher for any United flight in the next year. Yeah, don’t think I’ll have a use for that, somehow… (but if any of my American friends are planning on flying anywhere and are brave enough to risk United, it’s transferable, so let me know and I’ll send you the code).

I discovered something exciting (and a bit scary) last week: I’m only one paper away from finishing my degree! Because I’ve been studying part-time for so long, and the regulations keep changing, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was up to. So I asked one of the student advisors to have a look at it, and she told me the paper I’m planning on taking next semester will complete my BA!!! So if I do make it to Dublin next year I’ll have to plan my trip around being back in Christchurch in time for graduation 🙂

The other exciting part is that I’ll qualify to start Honours in February! I’ve been talking to one of the linguistic lecturers about it and getting very excited about the possibilities (and a bit scared – being an undergrad is nice and safe and easy – postgrad sounds all very grown up and intimidating!). So watch this space 🙂

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