Saturday, November 3, 2007


So I leave tomorrow night, getting back to Melbourne at 9:30 in the morning, sorry for my mistake. The flight is NZ123.

So before I leave, I figure I should post about Halloween. The photos are a lot more work than I first expected, and so with packing and such, I haven't had much time... Luckily, they don't take too much brain power, so once I get home I should be able to get cracking on them.

So yes... Halloween. First thing I did for the day was begin decorating, Kristy and Richard wouldn't be home until later at night, and so I would have to be the one prepared for any trick-or-treaters. I put out some cobwebs everywhere, including on the door and one of the windows. I also got a Halloween playlist going, and set the computer speakers up near the windows.

As it got later, I got into my costume, and set out the pumpkins. When it got dark, I lit the candles, turned up the music and got ready for the trick-or-treaters.

I was a little disappointed actually. It wasn't until after 7:30 before I got one largish group of about 4 kids and two tweens, and then just before Kristy and Richard got home I got a group of three tweens who had what some may call a lack of clothing. I felt my costume (OK, so I have a photo of this already...) went to waste!

Luckily, it didn't totally. Kristy got home and disguised herself in a costume (including wig) that would ensure no one would recognise her as being an adult going out with a young adult trick-or-treating. I think most people thought I was 14 and no one really had an issue with it (plus by the time we got out, the night was starting to die down and so people wanted to get rid of their candy). Three houses up the street got REALLY into it, apparently they go overboard at Christmas (and at Easter too for one of the houses!) as well. One guy had dug a hole in his front yard to be a grave, another had people standing and sitting still in clown and scarecrow costumes, they moved when you had your back turned. Another had a huge graveyard, lighting effects, a guy who grabbed your foot as you tried to walk past, horror movies playing, and a person who would chase you with a chainsaw... Being the most elaborate, I can guess that this is the house that actually decorates for Easter.

I got a decent amount of candy, most of the area around here is apartments, and so they don't usually do the trick-or-treating thing... Probably why we didn't get many people. Now the only problem is I don't have time to eat it!

So today I was packing, I also went into Hollywood to go to the "Build-a-Bear Workshop" and bought twin bears... One for Kristy and I each as a sort of thank you and a bit of an inside joke between us (one is meant to be a ninja despite the fact the closest I could get was a karate costume, and the other is a pirate!). So that was fun...

...Tomorrow I leave! I kind of want to stay!!! Oh well.

See you all soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The day before Halloweeeeen

So I'm updating this on the morning of Halloween itself, but I think everyone will get over that.

So yesterday was Halloween, and after a bit of shopping, Kristy and I went to have some fun.

In the form of pumpkin carving!

Seriously, it isn't as easy as I thought, and it's actually really physically demanding! My arms got a good work out, that's for sure... We made two jack o' lanterns each. To see how easy it 'sounds', here are the steps:

1. Cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin, make sure you cut it at an angle so the lid can go back on. As I discovered from my first pumpkin, you should also make it big enough to easily get your hand in and out of, otherwise the next step and lighting the candle are going to be difficult.

2. Get a spoon and scrape all the edges. This step is really messy, because sometimes you can't get the spoon to grab enough and often it's just easier to stick your hand in and grab the stuff out yourself. Now is not a good time to decide you don't like the smell of pumpkin, because your hands up to your elbows are going to be covered in it.

3. Clean up the bits that didn't quite make it to the bin and wash off.

4. Get a sharpie or some other marker that you can draw on pumpkins with, and draw a face on it. Smoother pumpkins make this a lot easier, and while you can skip this step it makes your pumpkin look a lot better.

6. Get a knife and start cutting. Make sure it's real sharp, because as it is it's gonna get stuck in there and a sharp knife is easier to pull out of pumpkin rind. It's also hard to cut in any thing but a straight line, but it is possible. Be careful carving pointed teeth, they don't tend to stay on very well when you're pushing the cut up rind off the pumpkin.

7. Either drip wax down the bottom of the pumpkin for a perfect fit, or just shove a candle in there if you can manage to make them stand up straight.

8. Put the lids back on them and put them outside. Now your pumpkins are done!

So there you go. After making pumpkins, Kristy made jack o' lantern gingerbread cookies, which looked and tasted really good. Especially while watching The Mothman Prophesies with Richard Gere (a movie which is made all the more scary by the fact that it is based on a real story).

After that movie was over we settled down to watch a lovely movie known as Ringu. While I thought the American version of The Ring was actually scarier... It was pretty damn scary! For those of you who don't know, Ringu is the original Japanese movie that inspired the American movie. The plot is pretty much the same, but it has changed a fair bit. Either way, I'm surprised I was able to sleep so easy last night!

I have photos of the pumpkins coming too, so far I haven't made much progress on the photo album, but I'm getting there! I'm adjusting levels and resizing them before I put them up, and it's taking a little while longer than expected. Password is oranges in case it has been forgotten.

Halloween is tonight! I'll be dressing up and trick or treating! More details later!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Warner Bros. Studios

If you're reading this and say, "Finally, she's updated!"... Then, well... Yes I have, but scroll down the page, and look in the left column which shows you every post I made today. Start at the bottom post and work your way up, and you'll go from September 7 (The link marked "GO LA") to today.

Also you might notice a lack of photos... I can assure you, I have some, but there are A LOT. What I'm going to do is upload them into different folders of a Photobucket account. I'll probably be doing this tomorrow, as I have some other stuff I'm wanting to do, and adjusting the photos and uploading them is going to take a while. So check up on this link tommorow, the guest password for it "oranges". There will be folders for each day/thing, and newer photos will be to the bottom right on the last page of each folder (if there is more than one page)

I also have lots of video, but that's going to wait until I get home just because video editing is really time consuming, and I can't upload very long videos to Youtube.

But I'm now going to say what I did today besides update this blog (finally).

Today I went to Warner Bros Studios for their VIP tour. It was cool and we umm... Saw lots of stuff? Actually, asides from the stuff I got photos of it wasn't incredibly exciting!!! Wait until tomorrow to see all the neat stuff I got photos of!

ALSO: Just to tell/remind people that I'll be touching back down in Australia on November 5 at around 10:20am (providing it remains on schedule). So if you guys are interested... Yeah. Air NZ flight... Something. In International Arrivals. :)

The Week that was

The week of October 22-28, we're finally getting more recent!

So the day after Disneyland required some rest, but on Tuesday I was up and off again, this time to Paramount Studios! They were filming a few TV shows on the day, and apparently Eddie Murphy was on the lot on the day. We saw neither, but I did get to see the set of an upcoming TV show called Dirt with Courtney Cox, and here's hoping I don't get a lawsuit thrown on me... Found out some news that Trekkies may be excited about. I will say nothing more because the tour guide slipped up when she told us and apparently no one's meant to know.

It was pretty neat to see all the stuff though, and of course we got the obligatory talk about the Hollywood sign which could be seen from outside the sound stage of Dirty Sexy Money (and she got some of her facts wrong too, and I thought it was sad that I knew she was wrong).

What was interesting was on the buses here... They have TVs which show roughly where the bus is, play ads and such, and put up headlines. One of the news stories looked like: "Sydney (Reuters) Keeping fit is important! Just ask Australia's power walking PM, John Howard, who is soon to be facing a tough election" ... Yeah that was the highlight of my bus trip. Boy am I looking forward to all the Australian politics when I get home!!! Man, at least I don't understand enough about the stuff over here to have it really effect me... Though Stephen Colbert running for President in South Carolina is all I'm really paying attention to. He should move to Australia and become PM. Really.

Friday was my chosen day to once again return to Disneyland. I had to get up at 6:30 in the morning this time, using public transport meant that I wouldn't get to Disneyland until around 10:20. If I wanted to get there at its open, I would have to catch a bus at 5:30, and waking up at 4:30 in the morning did not sound fun.

So I went to California Adventure first, and made a beeline for the Tower of Terror. WHICH WAS COOL!!! On my way to another ride... I managed to really be in the right place at the right time, because apparently at the place I was walking through at that time allowed me to win a "Dream Fast Pass" for both parks... Basically tickets that allowed me to jump lines on certain popular rides. Nemo, again was not included but I didn't mind. So I went on all those rides! Including Splash Mountain which worked this time (though it didn't get me as wet as the Grizzly River Run at Cali Adventure... I was soaked for most of the day from that).

I got to see the main street parade this time, which was good (though I know some of the floats were missing...). What was REALLY awesome though was the Fantasmic show (which was a cross between the parade, a water show, some movie clips, and a fireworks show, all with Mickey and a big dragon and... It was just really cool), and the fireworks (which by the end had my crying because apparently Disney knows how to make you so incredibly happy that you can't help it!!!)

So yes... Friday was good.

On Saturday I went shopping for some items for my Halloween costume (A Surprise!), and on Sunday Richard had a few things to do, and so when he went to Frys I went with him and bought myself a copy of the Sims 2 Pets, which has finally gone down in price (it was cheaper than it was in Oz before, so even more so now).

With Disney photos, I didn't get as many as I would have liked. However, I sort-of-know a person who works there/has worked there, and she has a lot of photos and videos that most people wouldn't be able to get. So if you want to see some cool Disney stuff, check out her art page. If you click on the link just under the box on the right which says "Previous Journal Entries", she often has some photo posts and links to her photo albums in there, as well as links to some videos she has taken and put up on Youtube. There's some pretty awesome stuff.

Back to LA and A WORLD OF PAIN!!!

So on Monday, I bid farewell to Arizona and took a flight back to LA. My arrival was a bit hectic and confusing but it worked out eventually, and I unpacked and rested!

...And then packed again.

On Tuesday, Kristy and I were straight on the ball and used her two days off to take us both to Santa Barbara again. While we spent day one just lazing around (Kristy was using it as a getaway from work and I... Well I dunno, I was just there), on Wednesday we took a trip out to Solvang; A European styled town that was originally a Danish settlement, but was now impressing tourists by just being European. It was very pretty and cool. We got Danishes, which were also cool.

I came home to a letter and then drama from ACU... Which continued on into the next day... But more importantly I came back with A REALLY SORE MOUTH. So on Thursday I booked a dentist appointment...

...Turns out I need a root canal when I get back home. Yay. So I got prescriptions for antibiotics and a lot of strong painkillers (I'm done with the antibiotics now, but I still have some painkillers which I still need of an occasion)

I got them just in time too... Because... On Sunday...

We went to Disneyland. And it was awesome.

I bought a two day park hopper, but for Sunday it was Kristy, Richard and I. I was gonna use the second day with the addition of California adventure on another day. So. We went on a lot of rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Star Tours, the Tea Cups, Whinnie the Pooh... We attempted to go on Splash Mountain, but just as we were about to reach the big drop, it broke down, and we had to be evacuated! They gave us a fastpass to any ride (except for the new Finding Nemo subs, where the line was almost two hours long, I did not go on this ride on either day for obvious reasons!). So we went on the Matterhorn, which was also fun!

It was pretty windy though, which was annoying and caused the fireworks to be cancelled! It didn't matter too much though, because I had A LOT of fun. And I was going back.

The Extra Suprise week!

So we came home from the Grand Canyon on Monday, and I was supposed to head back on the Wednesday, but in a stunning change of plans, I would spend October 8-14 in Arizona and fly back to LA on the 15th.

So during the week we did some fun stuff, Tiffiny showed me around ASU, which is like its own miniature city (and it has multiple campuses!). It even has a bus specifically to drive around the area, which has shops that are a part of it (including I think every fast food chain that exists here)

I went to the Arizona Mills mall, which was also big and greeted you as you walked in the door with an electronic voice. I had a New York style hot dog (sausages in bread are better), and learnt that the Rainforest Cafe looks cool despite its cheesiness, but is way too expensive to eat at.

I went with Amanda to one of her jewellery making classes at her university, and walked around the area too... Which was also pretty fun.

On Friday we even went with Lauren to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which was a great movie despite the fact I haven't seen the first one.

But the main reason I was sticking around in Arizona for another week was what we did on Saturday: We went to Rawhide.

It was like a smaller, Cowboy version of Sovereign Hill without as many people in costume. During the day it was aimed more at younger kids, but after dark, they put up their Halloween theme and became "Doom Town"... It was pretty awesome.

The first show we saw was this thing on the Lone Ranger, where the guy basically retold the story of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, showed off some gun spinning tricks and fired a very loud gun to do things like pop balloons inside. He was a little annoying... But... yeah...
After that we walked around and looked at all the expensive shops, then waited an age in line to get ice cream, because some stupid volunteer Girl Scout person decided to make more orders while she was paying.
The next show was announced by a gun fight in the streets, and was the story of how Billy the Kid came to a town, shot some bad guys and... Left. Billy the Kid, we agreed though, was rather cute.
We had some greasy burgers for dinner... And then DOOMTOWN!

There was a haunted train which was fun because it was really for kiddies and their parents. But that was OK. There was another show on the same set as the Billy the Kid one, it was a little tongue in cheek, but still pretty funny and cool with its pyrotechnics. While we were waiting for it to start, we mucked around with the entertainers... Two of whom chased Tiffiny when she ran away from a guy dressed as an undertaker.

After that came the stuff that wasn't for kids under 10. There was a show where they disected 'dead' people and blood and guts fell out before the corpses started talking (though us three seemed to be the only ones in the audience who found the sense of humour that went with it funny, especially with the Monty Python jokes he threw in...), and of course, the main event... A Haunted House. It would have been scary if it weren't for the fact that we were put with three women who SCREAMED HYSTERICALLY the whole way through, and so instead of screaming, the three of us cracked up laughing the whole time.

Sunday was spent packing, and a bit of shopping. But I had a good time :)

The aftermath and the Grand Canyon!

Surprisingly, on Monday everyone wanted to sleep. But we had to be out of the hotel by around midday, and have meetings with the staff there, so it wasn't really an option. We eventually got out of there though, and Lauren (one of my Arizonian friends and the main director) went to her place to crash, and Kristy and I went back with Tiffiny and Amanda's place (the uh... Other two directors and friends from Arizona)

So... The rest of the week from October 1-7...

On Tuesday, Amanda and Tiffiny took Kristy and I to a few cool places, the main places being a Halloween superstore (pretty damn cool) and The Bass Pro Shop. It was an outdoors shop and I think they must have killed... I don't know how many animals to decorate the place. I was a little mortified, and the girls laughed... Hunting and guns really are a part of life over here. We had some fun around the shop though, it was HUGE to the point where they could fit a river with live fish, a (fake) shooting range, an bow and arrow shooting range, a large fishtank, a restaurant, a rock climbing wall and a fudge shop inside.

...If you had to ask whether or not we bought fudge, you do not know me well enough. I got cookies and cream (with real Oreos!) and Cheesecake. We watched a really bad anime with what we think is the worst dubbing job in history, and fun was to be had.

Wednesday, Kristy was leaving, with me staying for a while longer with the girls in Arizona. We did go canoeing on the lake that is IN THE McGUIRE'S BACKYARD!!! It was pretty cool. I also got to experience Red Robin, which is actually a franchise restaurant and not a fast food place like I thought it was.

The main event of the week was yet to come though- My trip with Amanda, Lauren and Tiffiny to the Grand Canyon!

On Saturday, we piled into a car and drove all the way up to Sedona which... Was pretty stunning. Red rock all around. The scenery was nothing short of amazing. We went to the motel after lunch and a walk around, where we played some fun games including a drinking game with sake (and even with a fruity flavoured sake, we discovered that sake tastes pretty horrible). By the way, I don't endorse drinking!!! Just so you parents know...

And then came Sunday, the day where we actually went to the Canyon. I apologise for not having photos of this, I have yet to nab them off people. I do have a lot of video, but really... I couldn't capture it at all. The place was amazing.

For those of you who are curious, no I wasn't there when the four year old fell into the Canyon, that happened the day after we got back.

But yeah... The place was really, really awesome, and I don't know how to begin to describe it. Except for it was apparently tiring for the girls to walk (I've been doing a lot of walking in my time over here so I guess that's why I didn't have a problem? One of the few advantages of not being able to rely on a car...) We only saw part of the Southern edge and ... Wooooow. We also saw a graveyard, with people from all different time periods randomly placed. It was also pretty cool.