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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - The Year That Was

Ok so you all know how I like to be a band-wagon-jumper right? Not all the time, just sometimes. Well as I didn't jump on the proverbial write-a-blog-about-Christmas-and-its-general-stresses-and-joys bandwagon I will leap forth onto the shit-its-the-last-day-of-the-year-and-i-haven't-written-a-post-for-a-while-yet-don't-have-a-lot-to-say-probably-coz-i'm-not-at-uni-right-now-thank-god-for-holidays-i'm-such-a-slacker-uni-student-with-my-5-months-a-year-off-anyway-how-was-2010-for-you bandwagon. 

Uni Students: Working Hard, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 2 weeks a year 
(those two weeks being the one right before each set of exams when you realise you slept through most of your lectures, and even though it was a good reason at the time, just coz your lecture is on the other side of campus, in the smelly Vet building, at the hideously early hour of 9.30am, you still should have gone). 

What did I love about 2010?

- the day I found out I got an internship - god that felt good!
- booking my flights to London. Oh you didn't know I'm going to London? I'M GOING TO LONDON BABY!!!!!!!! 
- heading to Bali..... twice
- getting an high distinction on a written assignment. Oh did I not mention that? It happened twice. Boo yah!
- finishing my acne medication - pretty skin for me :)
- having a personal trainer
- my new pink laptop
- The Boyfriends sister getting engaged - and asking me to be a bridesmaid!! And then asking me to do a reading during the ceremony - apparently I'm the only one who won't 'fall apart'. 
- passing all my assignments, exams and units :)
- finding out my friend is coming back to Australia!! I will have to think of a pseudonym for her - she is one of those people stories happen to 
- turning 20 - leaving behind my teen years. And as my dad always says, every day is a new personal best - you've never been alive for this many days before!
- suggesting the wedding dress to The Boyfriends sister, which she subsequently fell in love with and cried over :) ***best bridesmaid ever***
- my school friend Dani having a beautiful baby girl - Charlotte
- Volunteer as a FYERST helper 
- A female Prime Minister!!
- playing social basketball
- seeing my first 2 strippers ;)
- starting a Certificate IV
- deciding that when I get married, I'm doing it at the zoo :)
- My blog and my lovely blog followers - all 4 of you :D

What I didn't like about 2010
- Flying Monkey getting drunk, falling off a wall, and injuring himself very badly. 3 months in hospital or something ridiculous like that?
- The Boyfriend and I nearly breaking up a couple of times - although I think it has made us stronger
- Not being able to leave the Village!!!!!
- My constant inability to deal with the heat :)

I have no idea what it will hold. Hopefully I will get skinny. Hopefully I will leave the Village. Hopefully I will be a bit more social. Hopefully I will get a graduate job. Hopefully................ well, hopefully lots of things. 

These things are certain. 

I start a summer unit on 4th January - Human Resource Economics. I am applying for a second job as I am soo poor right now. I am going to Europe. Uni will begin 'full time' mid February. I will find out one way or another about my graduate position mid February. 

Let me know how you are feeling about my blog. Do you like it, is it smeh, is it so awful it burns your eyes whenever you open the page? Would you like more uni stuff, would you like more personal stuff, would you like to hear me rant, would you just like to shut me up? 

Until next time (hopefully the not too distant future)

Ashleigh x 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Intern, Schmintern

Hi everyone!

Sorry for disappearing again - I have been super busy this week. I finally started my three week internship that I have been waiting for since August. 

I won't tell you which company it is, but I will say it is one of the biggest professional services firms in the world. I am doing Consulting in Human Capital :D. I get to work in a big building in the city! That has always been a secret dream of mine. 

I'm going to make this a short blog post just so you know I haven't died or anything, I've just been super busy. But the boyfriend has gone back to work now, so that frees up my evenings somewhat. I'll try and blog tonight or tomorrow and tell you all about my eventful week. 

I will say this though: This week of intern-ing has confirmed to me exactly what I want to do in life, and this firm is where I want to do it. I'm sure you can understand what a satisfying and good feeling that is. Of course, it does add stress, because I am competing for a graduate position and there is only 1 spot available - and three candidates. And now I want it all the more. Its going to be stressful waiting for that phone call - 2.5 months I have to wait after I finish - GAH! 

Anyway, I'll speak soon


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Q&A About Me

Hi guys

So I thought today I would give you a bit more of an insight into 'Who is Ashleigh?'. That way, when I'm a famous CEO and general all-round awesome person, you will win those trivia games. Kind of a reward for reading me now, while I still have my biggest successes ahead of me. Ok here goes:
1. What is your best friends name? - True Blue Kangaroo. She's been my best friend ever since we were 12 and at school together. I love her to pieces. 
2. What color underwear/boxers wearing now? Black bonds
3. What are you listening to right now? OMG Almighty Mix - Usher. I didn't even know I had this song, and my iTunes is on shuffle right now. I wouldn't have even realised if it weren't for this question.
4. Whats your favorite number? Ooh tough one. My least favourite number would have to be 7. I do feel better about even numbers as opposed to odd but a favourite? Can't say I have one. I do like 6, its admirable that it manages to be next to 7 and still be ok. 
5. What was the last thing you ate? The filling from my chicken and spinach lasagne  from last night - I added chilli! Yum!
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Hot Pink. Preferably with glitter
7. How is the weather right now? Well, its nighttime. So dark? But warm :)
8. Who was the last person you talked 2 on the phone? Smiling Tiger. I edited her resume for her this evening, but I was running massively late. 
9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Whether they have a 'quality'. Some guys have it, some don't. I'm sorry I can't define it better, but I don't know exactly what it is. It's just a quality. 
10. Do you have a significant other? I do. The boyfriend has been around for nearly 2 and half years. He gets up before me in the mornings and gets me coffee and massages my feet at night so he's pretty much perfect. Pity he works away (12 days on, 6 days off)so I don't get to see him as much as I want. But he always calls when he says he will. I don't think I can ask for more than that :) 
11. Favorite TV show? Without a doubt, Friends. I cannot live without that show. 
12. Siblings? 1 sister, she is 4 years younger than me. Much more social and popular, but shes shorter than me - no mean feat since I only top 5 foot 4 (163cm) on a good day. 
13. Height? LOL I just answered that! 5 foot 4, or 163 cm
14. Hair color? Brown. I've been most colours, but I am a fan of being au naturale. I keep thinking maybe I'll go blonde soon though. 
15. Eye Color? Blue. I love my eyes :) 
16. Do you wear contacts? No, I wear glasses for long distance though. People often ask me why I don't get contacts but since I am not allowed to look at anything too closely with my glasses on, contacts aren't an option because I would be reading things all the time with them in. 
17. Favorite Holiday? Bali is amazing. Just lying by a pool, drinking cocktails, relaxing and basically living like a king is awesome. But I have Europe next year so maybe Bali will be edged out. I'm thinking it will be. 
18. Month? August. My birthday! 
19. Have you ever cried for no reason? Plenty of times. Usually once a month. Also if I'm really tired. One time, the boyfriend told me he loved me and I cried. 
20. What was the last movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - AWESOME
21. Favorite Day of the Year? Australia Day - drinking, socialising, fireworks, wearing hideous patriotic clothes = best day ever! 
22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? Yeah. But I would let them know I was interested :) 
23. Can you do a headstand (not using the wall)? No. I'm too scared
24. Hugs or Kisses? Kisses every time
25. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
26. Do you want your friends to respond to this? I don't think my friends read this. So whatever 
27. Who is most likely to respond? No idea
28. Who is least likely to respond? No idea
29. What books are you reading? Anything and everything. I love reading and will devour anything I can get my hands on
30. Piercings? My ears and my belly button. Got my belly button done when I was 14 - if I had my time again, I don't think I would get it done. 
31. Favorite movies? Anything chick flick 
32. Favorite football Team? West Coast Eagles!! 
33. what were u doing before this? Drinking - we are celebrating the end of exams
34. Butter, Plain or Salted popcorn? Salted - I am a salt fan
37. Dogs or cats? Cats. I cannot stand dogs
38. Favorite flower? Lilies. Such a pretty, unassuming flower. But I don't really go in for flowers much. I like to get them, but the type doesn't bother me too much
39. Been caught doing something you weren't supposed to do? Plenty of times :) 
40. Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? I thought I did, but due to recent events, I guess not 
41. Have you ever loved someone? Two people - my ex who I was with for 2 1/2 years and the boyfriend
42. Who would you like to see right now? My cousin, Macy - she lives overseas and I adore her

43. Are you still friends with people from kindergarten?
 No, we all fell out when I went to boarding school 
44. Have you ever fired a gun? Yes, on a friends farm. I was awful at it 
45. Do you like to travel by plane? Love it - no stress, just sitting in a chair reading, watching movies, listening to music, having food brought to me - what's not to love? 
46. Right-handed or Left-handed? Righty Tighty 
47. How many pillows do you sleep with? Four or five when I'm alone. When the boyfriends home, I'm only allocated two :(
48. Are you missing someone? My lobster (aka the boyfriend)
49. Do you have a Tattoo? No, and I don't think I will ever get one 
50. Anybody on Blogger that you'd go on a date with? Maybe..... Lachlan. He seems very interesting and I think we would get on well ;) 

So there I am. Hope I'm not too awful :) 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I am Grateful for Today

I'm in such a good mood right now, I thought I should let you all know why: 

1. The happy fact that by this time tomorrow, my exams will be over for another semester - which leaves only 3 lots until I finish my degree!

2. Despite the fact my statistics exam did not go as well as I had hoped (I'm thinking I'll probably get a credit), the assignment I got back straight after more than made up for it - it was for the same class, a research proposal on gender difference in starting salary negotiation. I had worked really hard on it, and its a topic I'm quite passionate about (gender inequalities in the workplace that is) and so I am pleased to announce that the final assignment I received back for the semester earned a High Distinction :). This means that as long as I pass the exam (which I'm fairly certain I have) I will get at least a Distinction for my final grade. 

3. The fact that since having a personal trainer I have become more fit - and the trainer has to continually update my workouts. Plus he says I am his star student and my technique is perfect. I'm not trying to brag or anything. Oh what the hell, you don't know me - I am awesome ;) 
NB: Pictures is actually not of me - I'm far sexier, what with my pasty skin and little pockets of fat and forgetting to shave (no, not really - ok sometimes) - seriously, it doesn't get much hotter than that. 

4. The wonderful cup of coffee sitting in front of me powering me through the final day of studying.

5. My Shin-Bio heat packs - if you haven't got these, go get some! They are amazing. And yes I know you could just use a wheat pack or a hot water bottle, but I can use these anywhere, and they will be instantly hot. The neck one fits around my shoulders perfectly and does wonders for a sore neck, the back one has a band to put in and the little one, well thats just fun - and awesome on the train to work on a winters morning. Last night I was feeling achy (sorry boys, little girly moment coming up) with a sore neck and back from study and some pretty intense period cramps so I had all three going at once! Incredible. 

6. The fact that I am confident about my exam tomorrow - I understand the unit. 

7. The village was quiet enough last night for me to have my windows wide open and still get a good nights sleep.

8. New high score on Tetris! Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be studying for exams, but come on? I've been studying for 3 weeks and I'm about ready to snap. You read my last blog post - it was not pretty. So Level 12 baby!! 

9. This Chicken and Spinach Lasagne I am planning on making tonight! Celebrating my last night as a 2nd year uni student - and I have this unexplainable craving for chicken and spinach :)

Chicken and spinach lasagne

Have a wonderful day! 

Ash xo 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I Hate Student Accommodation

Hi everyone

Sorry about the big gap between posts but I have been doing exams and study and everything is just getting away from me a little at the moment.

So given that I am in this horrible state of increased tension, I thought it appropriate to give you the reasons why I hate student accommodation. 

I have lived in SA for 2 years now and plan on being here for another year at least, possibly 18 months (when my degree ends). I can see the good points, really I can. Its great living so close to university, in the same community as your friends, meeting so many different people etc. 

The bad points:

- It is as noisy as all hell. I am particularly gripey about this as it is currently the exam period. During exams and the week preceding, the Village has a 'strict no noise' policy. This includes gatherings after 9.00pm, loud tv/music etc and all that jazz. Is the policy ever followed? Apparently not. It is currently 9.37pm and there is a 'gathering/party' outside my window that is so loud I may as well be there. Last night I actually called the night manager to get him to shut a whole bunch of Americans up. They were having a party and someone was watching Harry Potter so loud I could follow the story from my bed. I am on the 4th floor. The sound carries like you would not believe. I don't want to complain about them too often because I feel like a whinger. 
- It is hot. I realise this is more of an Australia-thing rather than a Village-thing but the Village has one key aspect lacking - air con. I have a ceiling fan, which does little to alleviate the stifling heat. And I like to cool my room down at night by sleeping with the blind and window open, but alas, this is impossible as it is so fucking loud (see point 1). There is literally no escape. 
- I do not have an oven. You would be surprised how much you miss ovens when you don't have them. I used to make great food in ovens. Now I'm restricted to microwave and stove cooking. It gets old. 
- Crap flatmates. I actually don't have any bad flatmates at the moment thank god. But I have had some shockers in the past. An Arab whose core belief system included the fact that women were substandard versions of men. Yeah that went down like a lead balloon with me, as I am a firm believer in the fact 'Anything you can do, I can do better'. Also an Australian who we think was a World of Warcraft addict. Not quite sure as we very rarely saw him but still. Crazy. And you can't get rid of these flatmates if they turn out to be shit, you are stuck with them for at least a semester, maybe a year. 
- Living with other people. This has some serious perks. Having a ready made friendship group is cool as well as having someone to walk to uni with etc. But to be honest, if you count boarding school, I have been living in shared accommodation for 5 years now. I just want my own place. Where, should I so desire, I could walk to the bathroom naked. 
- Lack of space. It is so frustrating having only a shelf of the refrigerator. And one cupboard. And having to fight for room in the freezer. I'm the kind of person that would prefer to freeze a whole bunch of meals and have them ready when I need them - I'm a lazy kind of person. Can't do that here.  
- Having electronics in the bedroom. This is more of a personal thing - I don't think you should have electronics in the bedroom. I certainly never use them in bed. Bed is for sleeping and sex. Nothing else. Bedrooms should be peaceful places where said sleeping and sex takes places. Not 400 hours of assignments and countless browsing hours. Very hard to switch off from an assignment when it is sitting on your desk less than a metre away from you. 
- Paying for laundry. $6 it costs me to wash and dry a minuscule load of laundry. I don't have a washing line I feel comfortable using, as it means leaving everything out for everyone to see and steal so a dryer it is. Usually I try and do my laundry at the boyfriends house, but thats a 20 minutes drive. 
- Its very light. See point 2. I like to sleep with the blind open so the air can get in, but that lets in floods of light from the security lights. I have a little eye mask, but it is still frustrating. I feel the best sleeping conditions are cool, dark and quiet - I get none of that. 

Anyway, student accommodation is great for a while, but I am OVER IT. I can fully understand why people only stay a year. I have definitely overstayed but I am on such a sweet deal rent-wise, I can't afford to give it up (i.e. Dad pays hideous amounts for my rent then his company reimburses like 80% of that). Yes it is hideously expensive to live here too - despite all the wonderful things they tell you. My flat next year will be a whopping $175 a week inc utilities ex Internet. Thats a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom flat. And each flatmate pays $175. Thats a total of $875 a week. Ridiculous. I could have a house in Applecross for that kind of money. 

Sorry for complaining, but its just been one of those days/weeks/months. Ready for exams to be finished. 

Ash xo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SOS & The Weight Wait

Hi guys!

Two issues today:

First: I have done something to my computer that I can't seem to undo. I know there must be some 'geeks' (who I have the utmost respect for BELIEVE ME) (and yes I'm talking about you Lachlan, dear solitary follower and writer of awesome blog Disorderly Accounts of Uni Life) reading this blog and maybe you can offer a solution.

I have a strange relationship with technology. Being 20, I have grown up with computers, DVD, mobiles, Internet etc. Actually I was talking with a fellow Gen Y'er the other day (I'm pretty sure I'm Gen Y - or perhaps a Millennial) and we came to the conclusion that we have literally grown up with technology. I remember when I was little and Dad had a computer in the spare room and it was green and black and I used to play a very pixelated version of Wheel of Fortune. Then I remember when we first got the Internet - again I was very little - and when mobile phones were boxy and big. Then Mum and Dad got a little phone when I was upper primary school and eventually I got one in year 9. Technology has evolved with my generation. Which I think is quite cool. Technology is one of my peeps if you will (no I cannot believe I used the word peeps in a sentence and no I do not think I can pull it off either). 

Anyway so I am completely comfortable with technology. I am the go to person at work for computer issues. I teach the accountants at work how to use their computers. I have dual monitors and an external hard drive. Yet somehow I struggle with small things - read on... 

BUT - I only recently used wireless for the first time the other day. My student accommodation did not have a wireless connection previous to this and when I figured out I could access it, it changed my life. I had my laptop open in the kitchen to a lamb and spinach curry recipe yesterday and cooked along with it. I also made Nepalese momos - yum!

So I'm sitting there and I'm wirelessly looking at my emails on Gmail thinking 'how cool is this?'. I'm using the touchpad, which I don't normally do, because I'm really more of a mouse person. Suddenly, my fingers do something funny and I am zoomed into my emails so far I can't read them properly anymore. I cannot work out how to change it back!!! Its not funny, I rely on emails. I figured out how to zoom it back a little bit, but as soon as I try and do it more, it zooms back in. This hasn't happened on any other webpage, so I tried closing Gmail and reopening. It remembered the zooming. 


So SOS please!! 

Second issue:

I think I will be starting a new blog in addition to this one titled 'The Weight Wait'. 
I am a little overweight. I am hyper aware of this. Its become something that I think about on a very regular basis. It scares me a lot. So in honour of the boyfriends sister asking me to be one of her bridesmaids next year, I will be embarking on a mission to a) look the best I can and b) be a healthier person. I realise this will be hard. I've tried diets, I've tried exercising but the thing I have always lacked is the accountability factor. So I am going to go online. I will write about what I've been eating, if and how I've been exercising, how I feel about different aspects of the process and my achievements and setbacks. It will be more serious than this blog, but I will keep this one going as well.

I do quite like blogging, even if I only have 1 follower (again, thanks Lachlan). I know I have readers and as a blog is something that really has the writers personality stamped all over it, its very subjective and not to everyones taste. And thats ok. 

So look out for The Weight Wait - I have to get the courage to start - Its going to work this time! And please give me feedback or ideas :) 

Ash x

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Whinging Culture

It is quite often said that Australia has a drinking culture. And thats true, we do. We drink all the time. We drink to celebrate, we drink to commiserate. Something happens - hey lets have a drink. Oh Oh the sun is rising - crack open a beer! 

I have absolutely nothing against this drinking culture, given that I grew up with it, and my mother and father have been giving me sips of alcohol since I was about 4 and I'm pretty sure that wine was a base ingredient in all my food growing up. I even think they may have used that old trick when I was teething - you know stick the dummy in some bourbon and then the baby has no more pain. This is NOT recommended by doctors, dentists, or really any health care professional. It could explain some things.......

I don't really know the opinion of the rest of the world in regards to Australians - although I've been told we are fairly highly regarded. And our drinking culture is acknowledged. HOWEVER - does the rest of the world know that Australians whinge? We whinge like no tomorrow. If there was an Olympic sport of whinging, we would win gold, silver and bronze because the whole event would be filled with Australians. 
I do not like our whinging culture. I believe it has stemmed from our insistence on being tied to the apron strings of Britain, England or the United Kingdom or whatever name it is I should call them. Lets become a republic already!!!!! 

I mention this because I was reading the 'news' yesterday - yes always a dangerous thing when trying to keep anger levels low. The thing that struck me the most was not the news articles themselves, but the comments people made on them. This was online news for anyone stuck in a paper world and doesnt know how to get out. Turn on the computer. Things will happen on the screen. This is exactly like reading paper but about five gazillion trees are saved. Not quite sure how your reading this blog, unless I'm really famous, and you are one of those bosses who gets their assistant to print everything off for them to read. BTW - your assistant hates you. She (or he, but probably she - I'll do a blog post on gender next time) is probably young, technology savvy and resents you for not being able to get your head out of your own arse and catch up with the rest of the world. And you know what? One day you will be dead and she will still be ruling the world - even though you are misogynistic and rude and don't believe in her. Guess what? The world does not actually revolve around you. Get over yourself.


The whinginess of Australians. I mean come on. These people took time out of their day to comment on these news stories. The comments are not well written and I don't think these people actually understand what they are talking about. I detest people who have all these wonderful opinions and stick firmly and very vocally to them, but have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Case in point. The mining tax. Personally I was for it. Not going to go into that now. But I could also see negatives, and I think that the idea could work, but the technicalities probably needed to be ironed out. But the amount of people I met who just swallowed the anti-tax ads on the tv (which were funded and developed by the mining companies, I might add) ran into the hundreds. Hook, line and sinker. Please people, apply some critical thought here. 

Also, I bet on the online forum things - nobody actually cares what is written. The reason that people comment is so they can get a response from other people and then that can degenerate into an online slanging match. Whoop de fricken doo. If you care that much about something, get out there and do something about it. Don't just comment on a news article then sit there smugly while hundreds of other people get upset. You have achieved nothing. 

I love how I am whinging online about others whinging online. But then I'm Australian. Its my culture. Think I'll go have a drink.

Till next time


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

London Baby!


I'm going to London, baby!!!!!

You might be able to guess that I'm a little excited.

We (my boyfriend and I) got some uber cheap deal from Air Asia this morning - $775 Perth to London return. Yes. Believe it. 
Air Asia is currently having a sale because they've had 100 million visitors or some crap like that. Whatever the reason, the prices are insane!! $3 from KL to Penang, Perth to Bali $125, Perth to KL $99. 
You'd be mad to miss it! 

I sound a little like one of those crazy carpet ads on the radio. Or used cars. I promise Air Asia has not paid me to endorse this sale. Although that would be cool. 

So, uni is struggletown today, as all I can think about is London, baby! We are going for 3 weeks in June 2011, and we will pop over to Germany (I love saying that, like its no big deal) for a couple of nights and spend out 3 year anniversary in Paris! And its so cool, because yesterday I didn't even know about the Air Asia sale, and then I saw my parents and they told me. So I went online and checked out prices for Bali (I'm a Bali freak - I just love the place!) and then I remembered that Air Asia flies to London and I though 'hey that would be cool'. I cleared it with the boyfriend (he's chef on the mines, so he got really excited coz he just wants to eat his way through three countries) and waited for the sale to start. I was up till midnight and I couldn't get through (I'm imagining suspenseful music playing at this point). I started to stress. I called the boyfriend and he tried to get through. He finally convinced me to go to bed and he would try in the morning. WELL, the darling boy woke up early and got through and booked the flights. And now I'm going to London, baby!! 

I have not been well traveled in my life, so please forgive me for my puppy-sees-food/ball/person/tree/ground/sky type excitedness. I've been to Bali 4 times and New Zealand 10 times. Yes I realise thats a lot of times overseas for someone who is only just 20 but I want to emphasise 2 things. Firstly, NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AND THERE ARE MORE AUSSIES IN BALI THAN IN PERTH. Secondly, there is zero variety. I actually count New Zealand as my second home. I wear a jade fishhook around my neck at all times. Therefore, I do not count it as travelling. I have been going there since I was 18 months old. Not that exciting. 

Another point about the boyfriend (I think he reads this so I better be nice): he is amazing. When he's home, he gets up earlier than me and makes me a coffee in the morning. Every girl should have a clone of him. 

Ok, I've thought about it again. New Zealand is interesting. Its green. There are quite a few sheep. They have a nice accent. Their money is different. They have mountains and snow. They have cool adventure things. 

On the other hand....

It rains ALL THE TIME. I was there last December (therefore, summer) for 10 days. It rained for 8 of those. 
They bombard you with questions - does it really never rain in Australia? Yes we do have rain, but nowhere near as much as you. Does it get as hot as New Zealand in the summer? Are you kidding? Your summer 'droughts' and 'heatwaves' are like our average winter. 
The roads are so wind-y that you will get sick. My sister regularly vomits on road trips in New Zealand.

Anyway. I should stop bagging New Zealand. I don't mind the place. I have some nice cousins over there.

And no. They do not have sexual relations with sheep!!!! Australia has more sheep than New Zealand. Although the ones in NZ are whiter and cleaner - coz it always rains. They have amazing ice cream and milk too - coz the cows get to eat green grass all the time.

Ok, I'm going now. 

London, baby!!!!! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

15 Things I Would Tell the 15 Year Old Me

Right I know this is corny and everything but lately everywhere I go I find articles/blogs etc saying 'What I Would Tell My Younger Self'. So I am jumping on the bandwagon. These are the 15 things I would tell my 15 year old self:

  1. You are not, by any stretch of the imagination, fat or ugly!
  2. If you want something to be different, then do something about it. Sitting there in silence hoping someone else has the guts to speak up and they want the exact same thing as you is never going to work.
  3. Yes it sucked that you were in a car crash. Yes that drunk driver should have gone to jail but somehow didn't even make it to court and it was unfair. Yes you will be plagued with back problems for at least the next 5 years. BUT - the fact that you were in that crash has made you a safer driver. It has made you more aware of the dangers of the road. Life is unfair sometimes. Your back pain will let you know when you are stressed/have been sitting at your computer for too long and allow you to take action against that. It will also give you the excuse to get massages and not feel guilty. 
  4. Just because you have a boyfriend now and you are 'so in love with him!' does not mean that you will marry him. Your life does not need to be so mapped out and at 15 what do you know about love anyway? He will dump you, over the phone, on a Monday morning, right before your TEE exams. You will blame him - try not to. He tried to do the right thing, because your relationship wasn't right anymore, he just did it the wrong way. And don't be so desperate and needy by calling him at all hours begging him to take you back. That ain't right. 
  5. When your dad tells you to go outside and 'do something', do it. Just because you feel like sitting inside reading doesn't make it the best thing for you. You will probably read that books 6 more times a least - you don't need to finish it today. 
  6. Drink more water
  7. The people in your class who are mean to you? They will do nothing with their lives. Just because they are the 'cool kids' now, has no bearing the second you step outside the school gates for the last time. You have the courage and the opportunity to leave town, to go to the best school in the State, to go to university, to leave the comfort of the known. They don't. It's sad really, because you can see their potential. 
  8. You do not smile enough nor take enough photos.
  9. Eat the sandwiches Mum makes you for lunch. Its healthier than going hungry. Or at least have some respect and tell her you would prefer something else, rather than throwing out your lunch and getting angry at her without her knowing why. 
  10. Put the pocketknife down you idiot. Stop being so self indulgent - you will get angry at yourself every time you see that scar. These things take a long time to fade. 
  11. Quit the sulky whiny 'everybody is against me' attitude. 
  12. Stop feeling like nobody recognises you are important and start believing you are
  13. Don't gain weight - its much harder to lose it
  14. Don't stop karate - you are actually quite good. 
  15. Be nicer to your sister - she will grow up way too fast and it scares you. Try and be there for her. 
 So there is my 15 Things to Tell My 15YO Self. 

Me at 15

Side bar: If I was able to tell my 15yo self all this - and she listened - I would not be the person I am today. So I probably wouldn't tell her. Although I would love her not to have that kind of teenage pain to go through, to be honest, it was probably a good thing. 


Friday, October 1, 2010

The One with the Control Issue

funny graphs - The Circle of Life

So I have realised that there appears to be a theme of tiredness running through this blog. 

And drunkenness. 

But more tiredness. 

So lets lay off that for a while. 

Firstly I would just like to add that I have just come from Horny Frog's house and I beat both Smiling Tiger and Drunken Leopard in Cluedo. Yes I guessed correctly - Miss White with the Pistol in the Kitchen. Boo yah. 

I have recently discovered that I have control issues. I make excessive lists, I panic when things don't go the way I've planned, I've got every second of my life planned out for about the next 30 years and I do not like to lose (except at Mario Kart where I don't really care). I am becoming very neurotic. 

Now, because of my control issues, my life is very organised. I know three days in advance what I will be eating for dinner (although thats probably more to do with my food issues), I know my next two weeks in minute detail, I know pretty much what all my assignments will say and I drive everybody crazy making plans. I feel like this habit of mine makes my life better. I feel better when everything is planned and there is no uncertainty. However, recently I have been wondering - if I was less organised, would my life be easier? I wouldn't be stressed if the plans didn't work out - because there wouldn't be a plan. But I figure that would require a whole personality overhaul that I could not handle. It's the change aspect going on there. 
I thought this was a recent thing, but I have been making some enquiries with True Blue Kangaroo and also my ex bf from a few years ago and apparently this organisation habit of mine is quite advanced. Hmmm. 

The reason I bring this up is because I have found that, when you watch a TV show, there is inevitably one character on the show that reminds you SO MUCH of so-and-so. I am a HUGE Friends fan. When things go pear shaped, there is nothing better than lying on the couch under the trusty doona and watching Friends. Friends will always be there. Friends will always have the same type of humour. Friends will tell me when to laugh. Friends love each other. Each Friend has their own unique personality and they have good bits and they have bad bits but you love them no matter what. (OK not sure if I'm still talking about the TV show - moving on). 

I was watching Friends the other night and I was trying to work out which person in my friendship circle resembles which character the most. Like I said there is always one. I could not think of one. Then I realised -  what if its me? My flatmates used to call me Monica - because her major control issues. A girl I work with says I remind her of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. The problem here is these characters are the butt of a lot of jokes. Am I the butt of a lot of jokes? Does it matter if I am? Probably not. I'm not going to change and my friends have put up with me so far (well except the boyfriend who dumped me - but that was his issue I'm sure). 

Anyway, this is a fairly random type post. But thats ok. I can be a random-type person with random-type ideas and unpredictable actions. If I plan them. 

Ashleigh xo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Education - making us smarter.... or is it?

Hi everyone

Shall I list my gripes for the week? Actually the last couple of days have just been peachy when it comes to making Ashleigh bitter at the world. 

Firstly, as background information - I'm very tired. Yes I know that it is rare for me not to be tired, but it does impact on my life and my tether tends to get very short when I am more tired than usual. Although I will acknowledge that it is my fault, as I went out on Saturday night (cocktail party with the girls, then dancing the night away at a club - bliss), didn't get to sleep until 3.30am and then got up at 8.30, went out for breakfast with my mum (she is a firm believer that going out for breakfast in the city or Freo is the ultimate in city living and so we do it every time we catch up), then went to my grandparents (who just got back from Slovinia and Greece) and had to spend the entire day being chatty and smiley and generally acting like the prodigal granddaughter I am and of course, instead of going to bed early like a good girl and like I planned, as soon as an invite from Drunken Leopard came to play Wii in his flat, I went and ended up there till 12. But it wasn't an entirely fruitless day, as I did beat Horny Frog on Mario Kart on his favourite track (actually I came 1st) when I normally barely finish the race (I simply do not have video game skills - although I'm very enthusiastic). The victory was made so much sweeter by the fact Horny Frog was also very tired and therefore grumpy and subsequently sulked all evening :). Yes I'm still gloating 2 days later.

Then, last night I had the lovely Uni Games boys in the village and they were playing drinking games outside my flat. I swear if I have to hear one more rendition of the drinking song 'XXX is the captain of the ship, captain of the ship' or the highly intelligent 'tits out for the boys, tits out for the boys' chant, I will kill someone. So I have discovered that I have control issues and thus this situation made me very tense as I could not control any aspect of it. And the insomnia begins - even after they finished. Gripe number 1 complete.

Gripe number 2. 
The TAFE education system in Western Australia is appalling - I believe. Yes I am a bit of a snob and do think that university degrees reign supreme over Tafe diplomas/certificates but I can see (as any normal person could) that they are very good for people who don't necessarily want to complete a degree or want to get into a trade etc. I have almost zero time for people who do not want to complete any further education and even less for those who voluntarily drop out in high school - and do nothing. 

Anyway, I recently began a Tafe course to complement my degree (see I can see the point of tafe!) - a Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety. So I've been doing it externally, just one unit at a time, fitting it in around my degree. Today was one of those fitting it in times. I thought I would begin the second assignment (an essay/report type thing) by reading the sample assignment they had so thoughtfully provided. Well, I thought it was thoughtful until I read it carefully and it turned out they had just repeated the same 3 sentences 27 times!! I called up the lecturer and said that this assignment did not help me in any way at all and she told me that the words are just there to indicate that you have to put words under those headings, and in fact, the "sample assignment" isn't even the one that corresponds to my unit - its for a different unit. Now my big question is this - why even put it in there? The answer was that people don't realise you have to put words under the headings, and if the TAFE people only put 1 set of 3 sentences under a heading as opposed to 4 then people wouldn't realise that they had to put more than 3 sentences in. 

So this is adult education (as I was so kindly informed - she also spoke to me like I was an idiot - which I REALLY do not appreciate), and you are expected to work things out for yourself. But not enough that you might figure out that you need to put words under your headings. 
Is this 'adult education' really making us smarter? Or is it merely making us know more facts, but waste away our common sense by not letting us make decisions ourselves? Personally I have always been the kind of person who likes to work things out for themselves by using COMMON SENSE. 

Anyway there is my rant. Below are a couple of my favourite education quotes:

"There is nothing sadder in life than the waste of human potential. The purpose of evolution is to raise us out of the mud, not have us grovelling in it" Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider

"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance" Will Durant

Until next time...


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Perpetually Tired Student

Hi everyone,

So it has been an uneventful couple of days. I woke for my 9.30 lecture yesterday, promptly groaned, switched off my alarm and went back to sleep until 11.30. This is becoming a disturbingly common occurrence. I don't remember what I did on Monday night, but I'm sure it wasn't particularly exhausting. 

Just as a side note - in Australia, lectures are NOT compulsory and I can listen/watch it online later, so its nothing detrimental to my education, just annoying and a bit more difficult to listen to later. 

Normally the mere thought of a cup of coffee is enough to propel me out of bed, no matter what time it is. I think I know what the issue was though.

Have you ever heard of a sleep debt? Or sleep bank?
We covered this stuff a bit in psychology (no I don't know exactly why we were talking about sleep habits, I'm pretty sure its because its linked to mental health). Basically, theres some equation that for every hour of sleep you lose, you need 8 hours to gain it back. Or something along those lines. So when you build up a sleep debt, you can't just have a massive sleep in to pay it off - you need to do it in increments every night. 
And when you consider the average uni student stays up late studying probably 1 or 2 nights a week, stays up late partying 1 or 2 (sometimes 3) nights and has to get up for classes/work/more studying at a 'reasonable' time, thats a lot of sleep debt! So when I went out on Friday night (in my defense, it was the Village Pirate Party and it was happening outside my window anyway) and had one of those fantastic nights where you end up awake until 4am, then finally sleep, then when you sober up in your sleep your body wakes you at some ridiculous hour (9.30am in my case) (the 'go-to-sleep-drunk-then-wake-up-when-you-get-sober theory' came from Flying Monkey - in my experience, its definitely true). 

So I have accumulated this massive sleep debt - which was probably never 0 to begin with, as I've had some major assignment dramas last week (one horrible moment when I finally went to bed at 12.30 after doing an assignment, then waking up at 1am only to realise I had forgotten about another assignment due the next day and having to get out of bed to do it) and so unless I start getting some serious 9 hour nights in, I will probably be tired forevermore. And since, there is little chance of me getting those coveted 9 hour uninterrupted sleeps, I will be tired until my holidays. But then I have an internship so that'll put me back a bit. So yeah, we are looking at Christmas for me to feel properly rested again. 

I think this is a fairly widely spread phenomenon around universities and maybe, just maybe, one day I will be able to go to my lecturer and say 'I'm really sorry Professor but my sleep debt is just HUGE, can I have one more day to do this assignment'. Of course, the response will probably be 'No Ashleigh, you shouldn't have gone to that party/club/potluck/drinking game last week. If you hadn't we wouldn't have this sleep debt problem'. Which is true. But I maintain that going to those parties/clubs/potlucks/drinking games is all part of being a student, and if I'm tired the next day, but I had an awesome night the night before - I reckon its worth it :)

Thanks guys
Ashleigh xo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here we go..

Ok so I've never done this before - and I don't even know if anyone is out there reading? 
I'll start with my basic stats - I'm at uni (obviously), doing a Bachelor of Commerce - Human Resource Management and Psychology. I live in the student accommodation on campus. I turned 20 not long ago. 

So I was procrastinating today - I had an advertisement analysis to do for a Psychology class - only 1500 words but you know some days you just can't be bothered - particularly when it is such a beautiful day and I can hear all the American exchange students mucking around in the pool. I grudgingly signed my contract for next year in the Village and my contract to stay here over Summer. I've been trying for the past few weeks to get out of this place, and have finally resigned myself to the fact I'm just going to have to stick it out a bit longer. Anyway, so I decided that it was time to finally put down on paper my 10 year plan/list. I figured turning 20 was a milestone in a way and for me, probably more of a milestone than 21 will be (coz the drinking age and everything in Australia is 18 - so, been there, done that) and it was time I figured out what I want out of life. I figured this would be a 10 minute activity, but it was surprisingly difficult. Who knows exactly what they want to do in the next 10 years? I decided I would have some major goals on there that I wanted to achieve and then fill the rest up with things that I wanted to just do/have. So after Googling for ideas, it is definitely a work in progress but I'm quite proud of it. 

- Get my Bachelor degree (June 2012 is my expected graduation date, so fingers crossed)
- Get my Masters of Human Resource Management (I recently found out when I graduate with my BComm I don't actually get to wear the hat - and I want a hat dammit! So I have to complete my Masters - plus I get the little letters after my name AWESOME!)
- Own an apartment (preferably inner city, like the ones on Friends if possible LOL)
- Travel 
- Own a silver BMW convertible 
- Get a kitten (as I have zero interest in children, I think I'll go with a fur-child)
- Have my company - Samash Consulting - Innovative HR and Recruitment Solutions (or at least be well on my way)

SIDE GOALS - but no less important
- Bet on a winning horse (I have appalling luck)
- Create my family tree
- Have an emergency fund that will cover 3-6 months of living expenses ICE (that's just good sense)
- Sky dive
- Have a snow ball fight
- Be on a TV show as an 'expert'
- Go skinny dipping (yes I can't believe I've never done this either)
- Take a road trip
- Do a bike tour in a foreign country
- Hold a spider
- Bungee jump
- Have a vegie garden
- Give a speech in a public place or at a large event 
- Donate and get my name on something e.g. a bench etc
- Go to the Olympics (2012 is probably out, but theres still 2016 and 2020)
- Swim with dolphins
- Volunteer for a charity
- Own a university jumper
- Travel with friends
- Take a cooking class in a foreign country
- Lose my bogan accent!
- Learn to change a tyre
- Fly a plane
- Get health insurance
- Be a mentor
- Live by myself for at least 6 months
- Call a customer service line and thank them for a good service
- Watch a meteor shower
- Learn to like eating seafood!
- Touch an iceberg
- Sing karaoke (this may require a few drinks)
- Milk a cow
- Fly first class - preferably with a free upgrade :)
- Drink a champagne cocktail in Paris
- Travel by myself
- Give blood
- Climb a mountain
- Invest $1000 a year in stocks
- Have a enough money to do all of the above!

So as you can see, a fairly varied list with sensible things, crazy things but I'm sure they are all achievable things. 
Anyway, I was going to grab a coffee but as its past 3pm I think I'll stick to green tea - I'm trying to improve my sleeping patterns. 
Let me know if you like what you read and I'll keep updating :)
Until next time

Ashleigh xo