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Some big news buried in here - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Some big news buried in here
...I'm going to make you work for it. Now READ, bitches! READ!

Wow, I've been slack about updating this thing lately! Perhaps walking is eating up the energy formerly devoted to typing my lil' heart out. That reminds me, I totalled 43 kilometers to and from work last week, and added another 6 or 7 on a rainforest walk with Joey's mum and his sister, Ruby. But let's backtrack.

Work finished at 2.30 on Friday, as per marvellously usual, and after our usual post-lunch drawing contest. This week's theme was "Wookie". I'll have to start posting the results on here, they're good fun. :)

Myself and half the art department paraded down to Rosa and Mark's place (scooping up a Joey along the way) for a Brawl marathon on the Wii. For ten solid minutes, JB managed to have us all convinced that he'd forgotten to bring the Brawl disc, a deception that held up even after he theatrically placed it on Rosa's head. (We were all too busy being outraged to pay any attention to that.)

After the brawl-a-thon, Joey, JB, Linda and I all piled into Joey's car and headed down to Southbank to grab a pre-movie dinner, where we were joined by Linda's fiancee Matthew, and my gorgeous boys Hammond and Damo. Damo dramatically declared that he's currently grappling with Hammond for the title of my Best Friend. I LOL'd and told them I wasn't going to pick a winner just yet; that way they'd both be nicer to me in the spirit of competition. (This didn't work on Hammond, who was in fine form, alongside Joey, when it came to insulting my outfit that night. Joey dubbed me "The Brown Cloud.")

We nommed sushi and managed to all sit together in the ex-IMAX cinema for WALL-E which, FYI to the stunned Americans reading, actually took THIS long to gain general release out here. We all enjoyed the pre-movie cartoon, as did the woman behind us, who pierced the silence after the short with a too-loud, "That was soooooo funny." This left Hammond and I giggling hysterically for a good minute.

What can I say about the movie that hasn't already been said? It was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the realistic camera work, subtle to the point of letting characters shift just slightly out of focus when they weren't supposed to - that was a master touch.

Here is the important part, and I'll bold it so you can skip all the rest (I'm just too kind to you guys) - I went into WALL-E as a non-auntie, and emerged as an auntie. Kyson Noah Walker was born around 8.30pm (his dazed father was unclear on the details), Friday the 19th of September. Baby and Jess are both fine. It was a surprisingly short labour. My brother was in the delivery room for the whole thing, and tells me there are certain things about the experience that he intends to forget.

Mum and Dad have both visited the baby (separately of course... sigh) and they both adore him, and appear to be embracing their newfound grandparentitude with glee.

Post-movie, we went our seperate ways, and Joe and I headed to the airport to pick up Ruby (ge_mig_du), Joey's sister, who was coming in on a late-night flight that was not, in fact, a Virgin Blue flight as we unfortunately assumed. Oops! Lucky the different terminals are basically all in the same building at Brissie airport. We went back to our place, very quietly played some more Brawl with Ruby 'til half-past-one in the morning, then crashed, got up on Saturday morning and headed to the farm.

The farm was joyfully awesome as always. We had cider, cheese and crackers with Ruby. We chased sheep and I got to hold a lamb (kicky!). Then Joey, Ruby and I drove down to a nearby river for a swim which we chickened out of when we realised just how cold the water was. We hung out there for a few hours though, because it was gorgeous - a deep river with high banks out of which curved fig trees and she-oaks. Long ago a tree had fallen across the river and come to rest with the trunk half-submerged. The land had swallowed up both ends of it, creating a natural dam-slash-bridge, its deep-grooved wood gray from the sun and hard as stone. We crossed the river on this bridge and watched the fascinating dam process. It wasn't actually stopping any great amount of the water, but it forced the water into a slow whirlpool in the deepest part of the river, where the excess water was sucked under the giant log to emerge bubbling on the other side. We sat on the log with our feet in the water. We napped on the bank. We were mobbed by a couple of large and friendly dogs. We lazily dared one another to jump in.

Back at the farm that night, we stayed up late to watch Rear Window; it was the first time we'd seen it and it really was awesome! There was a nice thunderstorm outside during the movie.

On Sunday, Ruby, Margaret (Joe's mum, who I should stop calling Joe's-mum on here) and I left the lazy boys at home and drove up to Mt Tamborine for a 6-7km long rainforest walk. Because we'd gone early and picked a lesser-known walk, we saw wildlife galore. We saw a leech. We saw two Pademelons (mini wallabies). We saw a number of brush turkeys (and I finally got to see them fly into a tree!), some sort of brown-patterned scrub-digging fowl, but most exciting of all...

...a two-meter long python.

I was leading us along the path (and copping spiderwebs to the head for my troubles) and it was right there on the side of the path; I saw it when I was only a couple of feet away and started back. The two-meter guess is no exaggeration. Incidentally, 2m = 6.5'. Its head was as big as two of my fists. Its body was thicker than my ankle. It was ONE BIG FUCKER.

I'd startled it a bit and it got defensive, hunching back on itself, pushing coils of its body out behind its neck to make itself look big. The snake's blue tongue rapidly flickered and trembled, tasting us from afar. Margaret took a couple of photos, but the flash seemed to make it angrier.

This was an issue, as it was essentially blocking the path we'd been about to walk down. I ventured towards it but it appeared to INFLATE in anger, so I backed off again. I considered climbing the hill to get past it, but Margaret pointed out the spiky stems of "Wait-a-While", also known as "Lawyer's Cane", two names which when paired up suggest that it is a nasty pain in the ass.

We wound up backtracking and taking another path. The experience made the whole walk (even more) worthwhile; it was the biggest snake I'd ever seen! Including snakes at zoos and such! Far larger than the python they display at Dreamworld. Apparently nowhere near as large as the monster python at Australia Zoo, which gets fed whole live goats, but I haven't seen that one in person.

The rest of the weekend sort of paled in comparison, but we wound up back at the farm picking bucketloads of mulberries. Mulberries are basically the greatest berry known to man, but are never sold commercially because they're too soft for transportation. Margaret is going to make tangy tarts out of them for the family party next weekend, which we're going to, so hooray for tarts! We took a container of berries home with us, I'm going to eat them with greek yonghurt. The neighbor's dog was 'helping' us pick mulberries, and now and then we'd feed him one. He loved 'em.

We headed home late in the afternoon, caught Hellboy 2 at the cinema (eh) and had Chinese food in Indooroo for dinner (eh). Played some more Brawl at home (I cracked 100 victims in Endless Brawl, then cracked the 4-minute-mark in 100-Man Brawl) then called it a night because Joe needed to get to bed reasonably early for his first day. It was a long, good, full weekend. Next weekend is going to be even better; paintball with Damo and my workmates on Saturday followed by Joey's family gathering on Sunday.
6 have fought ~ fight the power!
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: September 21st, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, aunt-hood! If it's anything for you like uncle-hood has been for me, you're in for a treat. Congrats! :D
From: dawnstar_au Date: September 22nd, 2008 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I intend to get a Wii and Brawl for one reason and one reason only. To beat the ever living snot out of Pikachu.

Other than that the adventure mode is damn fun in Brawl.
tengukun From: tengukun Date: September 22nd, 2008 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
You know what's really cool about that? Your nephew was born on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. XD
aibo From: aibo Date: September 22nd, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Congrats aunt Tania:-) To the happy parents too of course, along with my sympathy for the upcoming sleepless nights:-)

Wondering, you get excited about seeing a leech? I think I left half a dozen there stuffed with my blood for at least a full year. Sukkaarrrrzz!!! But that Pyton is cetrainly a Woaaahh!

Thanks for the long entry that I certainly enjoyed. Geee, I do lack on updating so much, too....

raphstar From: raphstar Date: September 22nd, 2008 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on becoming an aunty! YAY! :D
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: September 23rd, 2008 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Intends to forget.. lol....! good luck! ;D

p.s. python... yikes! Is that indigenous over there...?
6 have fought ~ fight the power!