Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Rant... and then Christmas.

Yes, it's been a while since I last posted. This in part due to really not wanting to post anything, not having much to post, and ... having a profound dislike for the changes google has been making to blogger. It's cold. It's unfriendly... and starting to look like wordpress.... which I'm not fond of at all. But that's probably just me. I realize things need to change if they are to continue to compete with other companies, but personally, they are losing my interest by trying to make it "more like the other guys" stuff. I like unique. I like my iGoogle page with all the things you can customize, instead of being forcibly spoon-fed templates, or worse yet, not having an option to customize at all. I want to keep my frog widget, and the background I have for iGoogle. I will miss all of that, and also the ability to use my own mind when setting up these things. There are lots of people out there who don't mind that happening I think, but as someone who likes to think and choose, instead of going with the flow, I find this rather stifling. And a huge deterrent to having any interest in writing on this blog at all. 

Mom, will subtly mention that I've been awfully quiet blog wise, and I agree and come here... and hit new post... and my lip curls up, and I sit there staring at this astoundingly uninspiring posting screen, that's white and blank and reminds me of an old episode of Tiny Toons in which Babs Bunny has had all her personality sucked out saying,"Mayo on white... Delish." And that's exactly what this is. Bland to the point of brain dead. Google+ is totally losing me. Guys, you aren't Facebook. Don't try to be. It's like you suffered some profound jab to your collective self-confidence, and you've bent down on a knee and given in. The whole reason I started using Google for everything in the first place is because I loved being able to customize background, widgets, because it was fun, and whimsical... And it's turning into a bloody cubicle with no window view, and no decorations allowed. This is how the zombies started in Shaun of the Dead. With monotony. 

In short: I am not a happy camper.

I am willing to bet money that there are other unhappy campers in your little spot of heavenly camping park. It would behoove you to perhaps pick your imagination out of the trash heap, dust it off with apologies, and oh, I don't know..... use it for something besides making google into nothing more than a white board.

However, I am living on the other side of the planet from my family and friend, and they would probably like to read something about what happened AFTER the Thanksgiving post (and they probably weren't all that excited about the open rant to google). Unfortunately that was mostly final exams for most of the month of November. The weather was insane, gravitating wildly between sunny and warm to windy, rainy and a "I will blow your house down" mentality. It was entertaining; I can tell you that much. Then December rolled around and I set out to come home for the holidays. Which means a lot of flying, which means I stop over in Sydney for a few days before a 15 hour flight back to LA, and then another hour flight north. ... and a 2 hour drive home. Not fun really. Although I do love to visit Sydney. I stay at a little place in North Sydney, which is close to a ferry dock, so runs into the city for dinner are easy. Or a just walk up the street and get something there. Its relaxing and quiet. They had just refurbished the rooms. Apparently it's changed hands since I was last there, and the new guy is very friendly and decided to upgrade things a bit. 

Everything was new! The ash coloured bed frame was much prettier in person, and the bed was very comfortable. I don't usually fall asleep in chairs, but I sure did in that one, not once but three times. The only thing I would have changed (and did, the next time I was there) was that this room was on the ground floor, and there's a lot of people traffic past the room. One night, it was a lot of people traffic all night long. Not the greatest of nights, but I survived. On my return trip, I got a room upstairs, which would have been fine, if I hadn't been sick as a dog, and lugging a rather heavy suitcase. Really not my finest hour. The new owner helped me up the stairs with the suitcase with a lot of jokes and good humour. If anyone wants to stay here, the rates are very reasonable (or were, they might have gone up since January), and if you don't mind sharing a bathroom down the hall (all extremely clean bathrooms, mind), the place is called the Glenferrie Lodge. They've got a website you can look up.

I do try to eat a different places while I'm in Sydney, but my absolute favorite place to get dinner is at a place called Wagamama. The food is based on Japanese dishes, but I suspect that it varies in authenticity widely. The name loosely translated means 'wild child' or quite possibly 'brat'. LOL! But they do make a mean chicken soup, technically it's real Chicken Ramen. This is what it's supposed to look like. Even on hot days this really hits the spot, and its delicious. They grill the chicken and slice it before they put it in there, along with seasonal greens that are lightly cooked, menma (pickled bamboo shoots I think), and lots of noodles. Oh, green onions as well. This is a full meal. You seriously won't be able to fit anything else into your stomach after you've downed a bowl. Usually I get a lemon iced tea that they make in house, and it's excellent. There are two Wagamama locations in Sydney. One is right up the street from Circular Quay, where all the ferries dock. So it's something like a 3 minute walk up a street, and its right on the corner. The other is in the main shopping district at the Town Hall stop on the train. It's up several levels, but after you've had lunch/dinner, you can go up another level and totally explore Kinokuniya Bookstore, which basically inhabits an entire floor. Yes, I had other motives. 

Then it was time for my long flights and drives home for Christmas. It was unusually cold this year, even for the Sierra Nevada range. We broke all sorts of records, but at least I got a white Christmas!

Yes, that's snow pelting down outside. My camera decided that it wasn't going to capture the snow falling softly, but instead as a hail storm, even if that was not what was going on. It was good to be home for the holidays, even if it was freaking COLD!!!

I think I've done enough damage for today. I'll have something equally unexpected for you later, post wise. 

Smirkles. :)

No comments: