Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's Saturday Night

...And I'm home, with 2 guys (one playing WoW, the other playing Quake 4) and I'm blog surfing. So for those of you who frequent my blog, you'll notice I've updated my blogroll. I've removed a couple of people, and added a whole bunch. A WHOLE BUNCH.

But anyway... I nicked the following from Five Dollar Shake because I thought it was cool.

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.

Brandon Lee.

2. Where was your first kiss?
In my cousins rumpus room - on the cheek. (I was 8)

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
I have.

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
I have.

5. Have you ever sang in front of a large number of people?
I haven't.

6. What's the first thing you notice about the preferred sex?

7. What really turns you on?

My imagination.

8. What do you order at Starbucks?
I don't.

9. What is your biggest mistake?
Not speaking up when I should have.

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
Oh yes.

11. Say something totally random about yourself.
I fart.

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yeah some moogles I knew when I was younger used to say I looked like Valerie off 90210. Ew.

13. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?
Oh not likely... Unless Simpsons is?

14. Did you have braces?
I did!

15. Are you comfortable with your height?
I am now, though I never used to be.

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?
Ran a bath for me, and put scented bath salts in the water.

17. When do you know it's love?
When you don't want to run away screaming.

18. Do you speak any other languages?
I can barely speak english, so no.

19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?
No... Here in Australia, it's not even a little bit necessary.

20. What magazines do you read?
I like trash mags. And Maxim.

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
I have!

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?
Ugh, yes.

23. Do you watch mtv?
Not since it stopped being about MUSIC and became all about Reality TV. (RTV)

24. What's something that really annoys you?
Bad manners.

25. What's something you really like?
Having my hair brushed.

26. Do you like Michael Jackson?
Not so much anymore.

27. Can you dance?
I can't, no.

28. What's the latest you have ever stayed up?
Erm. 48 hours.

29. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?

30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?
I do!


About all the things I miss back in the States. It's weird, since being back here in Australia, a country I have always called home, I find myself partly wishing we were more americanized, and partly glad that we are not so much. (At the moment) But anyway, I'm digressing. The following are a list of SOME of the things I miss, and are in no particular order:

* Quiznos
* Vermont Maple Syrup
* Silk Soy Milk
* Folgers Coffee
* Taco Bell
* Dunkin Donuts
* Walmart (and I can't believe I'm saying that)
* 24hr fast food joints
* Poland Spring Water (what it means to be from Maine...apparently)
* Canadian Bacon
* FREE LONG DISTANCE and nights and weekends on my home phone

Things I miss in Canada:

* Quiznos
* Tim Horton's
* Canadian Bacon
* Canadian Maple Syrup (omg there IS a difference!)
* The Keg steakhouse
* Toronto

Obviously these are all partial lists, but honestly, since I've been home, I'm missing these things more and more and more. Part of me wants to move back, but then part of me wants to stay here now. Near my family. I've been without them for nearly 10 years, and I don't want to do that again. I really, really don't.

But... I've become so jumpy since moving back here. Seriously. A butterfly flies by and I jump 3 feet in the air thinking it's probably going to attack me somehow. A beetle lands 2cm from my feet while I'm outside and I practically have a heart attack and die over it. A FEATHER wafts around my loungeroom in the dark and I think it's a giant hairy spider, and immediately begin a panic attack that would put me into an asthma attack which would then put me into a fully blown anxiety attack which would land me in the hospital... Until I got up and went to look at this giant hairy spider only to find out it's a FEATHER. I'm too jumpy now, it's horrible. And then, when I DO spy a spider (as I have ALOT lately) I'm instantly wondering if this is one of those deadly ones that is going to kill me with a mere look out of its eyes, and not one of the usual and normal spiders that have to bite you FIRST.

For 10 years I haven't had to double check my toilet seat, or be worried about any creepy crawlies (outside of deer ticks) because where I lived in Connecticut, we didn't HAVE to worry about said creatures. They just weren't there. EVER. And I hate bugs and spiders and crawlies anyway, so now, to come home and be constantly faced with these little terrorists who invade my home and send my heart into well over a thousand beats per second, I'm just really...really jumpy.

What's Not to Love?

I am, of course, talking about Ikea. How can you NOT love their stuff? Honestly. D and I headed up to Springwood today to visit their huge ass store, and naturally by the time we were leaving, my feet were killing me.

(sidenote, they've been swelling alot lately with the heat so they hurt more frequently as well)

Anyway, we originally wanted to go in there to look for CD racks because we desperately need some, but ended up checking out computer desks. I need one quite possibly more than I need CD racks, and we both found desks we absolutely loved. We even found matching chairs. No purchase was made today though, since we need to measure out the area where we intend on putting them.

Afterward we headed over to Rugs A Million and ended up finding a gigantic rug that's hopefully going to go very well with our dining table (whenever we end up getting that). The plan is to put it UNDER the table since our floors are all tiled, and we would prefer to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the chances of scraping, so we are going to need to measure for that as well.

How I love window shopping for future household items.

Tomorrow we're heading back up to Brisbane to spend the day there, wandering around the markets in the morning, and then spending the afternoon lunching and walking around the city. It's supposed to be a beautiful day so with some luck it'll be a beautiful outing, in order of a weekend-long celebration of our 9 month anniversary. It only turned into a weekend long event because our actual anniversary was on Friday, but with D working and not getting home until around 7p, we decided to forgo heading out for dinner and instead went out today for lunch at the ever fantastic Hogs Breath Cafe (and I highly recommend the crunchy chicken burger, but be warned: it is so filling) before heading to Springwood to visit Ikea. Anyway, since D had asked me what I'd like to do for anniversary, there was really nothing I could think of (short of flying to Hawaii) so when he asked around at work if there was anything going on during the weekend, he was met with a load of replies, and so the decision was made to head up on Sunday for the markets. So, that's how a one-night anniversary has turned into a weekend-long one.

I have to say, so far this has been a great weekend and I've loved it. Of course now I've probably just jinxed myself by saying that.

Friday, October 28, 2005

How to Better Prepare Yourself for Train Travel on the Gold Coast Train

1). Wear heavy armor. Really heavy armor - the kind that REALLY hurts when you smack someone "accidentally" with your arm. Or knee.

2). Carry a weapon. It doesn't really matter what kind of weapon - even a rolled up newspaper will do the trick.

3). Wear earplugs. This is necessary for when telling small children to move off the three or four seats they're sprawled upon, and they then begin cussing you out like a sailor who's just realized his whore for the night is really a MAN, you'll at least be partially protected from it.

Just taking these three simple measures will allow you entire train ride experience to be far more enjoyable. Now, because I know you just trust me implicitly on this, I am going to be nice and explain the reasons WHY you should follow these three rules; why you should ALWAYS follow these three rules. Without question.

1). Wear heavy armor.
This might seem abit unusual, but it's really not if you think about it. If you've never caught the GC train before, you might not realize that during the week, it's a literal sardine fest. (This is really not news to those of you constantly travelling on any subway...except in Toronto where they have amazing leg room and the cars are so clean you could eat off the floors) Usually it's standing room only unless you're one of the lucky ones to be on the train FIRST, and you scramble over the other passengers to get a good seat. (A good seat would constitute somewhere near any of the doors)

But, if you're an unfortunate and cannot get a seat, nevermind a good one, then you're stuck standing up. At this point, you're being jostled around as the train moves along at it's not-so-rapid 90kph maximum speed, and people are bumping into you and you get the REALLY unfortunate luck of smelling their body odour as their arms flail around to stop themselves from falling.

However, if you are a fortunate and GOT a seat, nevermind a good one, then you wouldn't really be silly enough to say... leave your bag on the empty seat next to you, knowing that someone is going to trot along and request it. Or at least, that's what you HOPE will happen. You're blissfully ignorant in the ways of the world at this point - a fact you're about to realize within... Oh, about five seconds.

Because you see... in Australia, on the GC train, people don't ASK you to move your stuff off the seat. They don't TELL you too either. Nor do they suggest or scream or shout or cuss. They will do one of two things: They will either A) Move your stuff for you, or B) poke you harshly with a rolled up newspaper and then expect you to read their minds when they look blankly at you, not saying a word.

Being assaulted, of course brings me to points #2 and #3.

2). Carry a weapon.
Okay, so now you've just been assaulted in the arm because some older gentleman (and I use the term VERY loosely) has just decided that rather than ask you to move your bag (containing all your worldly work related goods) off the seat, he's going to poke you with a rolled up newspaper instead. And he doesn't talk, he doesn't excuse himself, he just waits for you to move your bag - which of course you do, because you're currently running a marathon in your head over all the different things you could have possibly said and/or done, but because the moment has gone and you were too slow, to do or say anything now would just make you look silly - and then sits down beside you as though nothing dreadful just happened.

But see now here is where you continue to lounge about in your chair, as though you had all the room in the world. The idea is to now make him feel very uncomfortable, which you succeed in doing quite well, I might say. Your knee is now touching his. Now your THIGH is touching his, and pretty soon you're going to have connected leg action all the way to the hip joint because THAT will make him squirm and think twice about poking you with a rolled up newspaper.

Alternatively, you could always turn around with YOUR rolled up newspaper (or weapon of choice) and crush the older gentleman's jewels so that he does, in fact, suddenly have a place to sit: the floor, after his knees have just buckled on him. Then you can smile down at him and go back to reading your book.

Which now brings me to #3. And believe me, if you're wearing a fully suit of plate body armor AND carrying around a rolled up newspaper, the LAST thing people are going to care about, is that you're wearing earplugs. Really, they won't. They're going to be more concerned about where they should happen to sit if they can get a seat, and what happens if you sit next to them - will there be enough room? does metal rust? if so, will the rusted suit of armor flake on me? if so, can I catch tetanus from that? - and then will also worry what you plan on doing with your weapon of choice, because as everybody knows, you DON'T read a newspaper on a not-so-rapidly-moving-but-very-jerky-train.

3). Wear earplugs.
This one is very important, and not just for the fact you'll need them to help keep your ears virginal, particularly after the string of very small but powerful words that just spewed forth from a kindergartener, after you asked him to move off the six seats he was occupying.

No, you see, when you ride on the GC train, you are cursed blessed with having each and every one of the stops announced over the loudspeaker by some unknown and very mysterious voice.

"You are travelling on the Gold Coast train!" the voice booms. And by booms, I mean the voice is two decibles higher than the average opera singer's voice, and so when it comes through the speakers of the train, your innards turn to jelly and your muscles spasm out of control and your brain begins to bleed. And then the voice proceeds to inform you of every stop it will be making this evening. BEFORE it leaves. And then as it leaves. And then again as it approaches it's first stop for the evening. And so on, and so on, and so on until you finally reach your destination and your brain has bled so much you can taste it in your mouth, and you can no longer think coherently, yet you are expected to drive the 10mins home again...Somehow.

And then you make it home safely, again for another night, and relay the events of the night (and sometimes the week) to your loving wife-to-be and your brother-in-law-to-be who makes it quite clear that if it was HIM who'd gotten assaulted, the assaultee would have been laying flat on the floor, nursing a broken nose.

So you can plainly see why following the three simples rules mentioned above, would make your train ride experience ALOT more enjoyable. And of course, should you feel the need to get overly violent, as is the case when you're stuck on the train for longer than 10mins and you have to hear that voice that grates on your nerves, you can always start leisurely bashing people round the head with your suit of armor, inbetween giving them papercuts with your rolled up newspaper, and for the especially bratty children, telling them your earplugs are actually hard caramel candy and then watch them choke to death on it because really, you CAN'T use the knee piece of your armor to crush in the skull of an eight year old.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Relationship Is Over

At least with my US bank. Apparently even though they understand my "frustration" with them, they really don't give a flying hoot, and so aren't going to bother refunding my money. Money they've been withdrawing out of my account for the past eight MONTHS. Their logic is you pay whether or not you use the service.

Sounds like highway robbery to me, but what the hell do I know? I'm some schmo stuck in Australia, unable to walk into the branch and punch someone in the head. (I'd so like to do that, you've no idea) So needless to say, I'm cancelling the account with them. Of course, watch them not receive the fax, which would be very typically THEM, and continue to charge me per month for a service I'm not using, and to an account with no money it... and THEN have the balls to send me a bill for it. Mwahahah.

In any event, while part of me wants to really be this much of a pain in the ass, I've decided against it and am going to write out a cancellation letter which I am going to both fax and post certified mail (because I haven't spent enough money on these clowns to begin with) to make sure they get it.

I just haven't decided if I'm going to be nice about it yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Texas Update

We're not going to Texas. Aforementioned company decided that D wasn't good enough to warrant a nice salary AND a place to live. Oh, and sponsorship. They DID, however, decide he was good enough to continue asking questions to though, regarding the aforementioned application he was going to design. That is, until he told them, "Sure I'll answer your questions; and bill you accordingly." Go baby! Of course that didn't sit well with the corporate bigwigs, and so they hastily retreated into silence.


This Is How To Make Me Love You

...Or Violently Kill You.

I was having such a good day, too. I'll begin at the beginning, cause that's a good place to start.

I went to the bank on Friday to do a wire transfer to my account in Connecticut, so I could pay off my American creditcard. The fee to send the wire was $30, from my bank here in Australia - yes, it's exorbitant. There are additional fees on top of that, for the Australian to American dollar exchange. Again, exorbitant, but what the hell, I'm going to pay for it cause I'm already two months behind on paying my creditcard. I asked for enough to be transferred that I would have plenty of money in my US account to cover the CC payment. Makes sense, right?

So everything's fine and dandy; I check my account on Saturday and it went through. Only... money is missing. $16 is missing, to be precise. My US bank, in all of it's FUCKED UP GLORY, decided they were going to charge me $10 for an incoming wire transfer. Did I know about this? No. Was I informed about this? No. Is it on their website? No. Was I given any information on this charge, when I opened my account and got all the fifty thousand pamphlets they give you? NO. No I was NOT.

Then. If THAT wasn't bad enough.. they have been charging me $6/month for a BILL PAYING SERVICE THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN USING!! This charge has been going on for MONTHS apparently, and I knew nothing about it. Even if you don't USE the service, they're going to charge you for it. Which bank, you ask? Essex Savings Bank. It's a small pissy little bank that isn't nationwide but if you know Connecticut at all, then you know the bank of which I speak. Feel free to call them up and harrass them for their stupid charges.

Anyway, so I email them. The email goes like this:

On 10/5 I have a fee of $5.95 for a bill payment charge? What is this for? I have not had you schedule any bill payments for MONTHS. And what is this $10 incoming wire charge for? The wire transfer already cost me an additional $30 plus the cost of exchange from Australian dollars into US dollars, so please explain to me why I have additional charges on my account.

Thank you,

Note that I only put in the date of the LAST bill payment charge I noticed. Because I emailed them on Saturday, I knew I wouldn't get a reply until today. And this was the reply I got back:


When you set up bill pay, you recieve the first six months free. After the six months you are charged $5.95 a month wether you send anything that month or not. If you would like to cancel Bill pay you can come into the branch and sign a form to delete it. Essex Savings Bank charges $10.00 for all incoming wires. You may have had charges from the other bank, but there is a charge here as well. If you have any questions please contact me at (XXX)XXX-XXXX ext. 234.

Thank you
(name removed)

At this, my mind went a little bit blank and my eyes popped out of my head. Yes, yes of course! Yes just LET ME WALK INTO THE BRANCH AND CANCEL THAT SERVICE! Honestly, it's as if the dumb bitch didn't even READ my email, or even take a look at my account. The reply I sent back to her a few minutes ago:

(name removed),

This is ridiculous. If I am not using a bill paying service, then I should not be charged for it. If you can see there is an incoming wire transfer on my account, then you will ALSO see that it came from Australia, so it would be therefore IMPOSSIBLE for me to come into the branch to cancel it. I am not in the US at the present time - I am in Australia - and you should also see that on my account, since that's where you people are sending my statements.

Additionally, I have no documentation stating that you charge an extra $10 for an incoming wire transfer; and it is also not listed on your website.

I am very disappointed in this reply. I have had problems in the past with Essex Savings, including having had to call the bank in order to get things straightened out, only to find out nothing had been changed. I have wasted alot of money on faxes to your bank that were apparently "never received" in order to get these problems resolved, and emailing (Sr. Rep) back and forth, and now to find out that you are charging me fees that I was not informed about when I opened my account, is highly unacceptable to me.

I will be cancelling this account as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see the reply I get. I am just so aggravated, annoyed, pissed off and mostly in disbelief that they state quite calmly I'm going to get charged for a service whether or not I use it; AND should I wish to cancel it, oh DO feel free to come into the branch!

Don't bank reps even LOOK at accounts anymore? It's not like it's a difficult thing to do. I email the bank directly from their website, so when they receive the email, I'm SURE it has more than just my name and email address on it. Evidently it's just the mentality of email the person back asap but don't bother checking their account at all unless they make a fuss about it.

My absolute favourite bumper sticker I have ever seen: Stupid People Shouldn't Breed

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Weekend Away, and a Visit to the Farm!

I had an amazing weekend that started on Friday night, when I headed down to Mamalas to go out to the Club with her. While there, we had dinner - I had lasagne which was watered down so not terribly delicious - and then headed into the Casino part of the club and played around on the poker machines. Well, she did the playing, I sat and watched and chatted.

Until some dude came past and started hitting on me. Me. A pregnant lady. Though to his own credit, he was rather drunk and so probably did not notice. Moron. I describe him as a tomato with legs, being that he was very short and round, and rather red-faced from the alcohol he'd consumed. Needless to say, I was rather short tempered with him and had no interest in making the conversation he so desperately tried to make.

"How's it going?" he cries, slapping me on the back. I half turn to face him as he's walking around to face me.

"Sorry?" I ask, glaring at him for even thinking it was okay to touch me.

"Oh..." He stutters, clearly not expecting my reaction. "Oh, sorry... Sorry you look like someone I know... With your hair. Sorry."

I nod and he shuffles away, and I hope that's the end of it. Unfortunately, it is not. He ambles around the area through the evening, constantly looking at me and smilng and/or grinning like a freaking moron. Perhaps he was trying to entice me with his yellow tooth stained grin, I have no idea. In any case, it wasn't even remotely attractive and quite frankly I was dreading the next time he spoke to me.

Thankfully it wasn't until we were leaving. On the way over to the cash-out area so Mamala could get her coins magically transformed into notes, he says to me,

"Hey sorry about before! You just remind me of someone!" (he was half shouting, because you know, I'm deaf)

I nod in his general direction.

"I was just being nice!" he continues. "Is that okay?"

"It really doesn't bother me," I said, pretty much looking at him like he was something stuck on the bottom of my shoe.

"Is that okay?!" he asks again in his loud voice. "I was just being friendly!"

"It's fine."

"You remind me of someone.. Do you have a sister? I think you have a twin."

"No." I sigh and roll my eyes.

"Are you sure? I think you have a twin sister. I know someone who looks like you. With the long beautiful hair."

"No," I say, rather impatiently.

At this point, one of the guys who work at the Club comes up to both cash Mamala out, and to rescue me from "Max's niceness". They then proceed to have a conversation about me, because evidently I really DO look like someone else and it wasn't just the drunk guy's imagination. Apparently I resemble some girl who used to work at the Club, and this is who the drunk guy was remembering. This information was not new to me though; both Mamala and my sister Tia told me repeatedly there was my "twin" at the Club and that I should go meet her before she headed off to Darwin. I didn't get to meet her before she left.

So that was my exciting Friday night. D thought it hysterical - of course he would; he gets hit on by the hotties and I get hit on by the tomato-resembling drunks. At least I get to come home and blog about it though; he doesn't have a blog. Ha!

Saturday saw my sister heading to work for the first time in about a year or so. Because she's the new girl at the cafe, she got stuck in the kitchen doing dishes for her entire shift. Apparently that's the way it works for the first week of any newbie's "training". Despite that, she enjoyed it and has decided she'll go back next week.

Beyond that, Mamala and I wandered around the Mall for abit and I picked up a couple of baby clothes - pink singlets actually, one with piglet, pooh and eeyore on the front with the words Best Friends painted on it. Of course I went absolutely gaga over it and had to buy it, so it's now with my ever growing pile of baby girl clothes. (Now watch fate kick my ass by giving me a boy)

Today we spent the day in beautiful Murwillumbah at the Crystal Creek Miniature Farm. This was our first time going, and it was Mamala's idea so her and Nanna, and D and I headed down there. It was amazing, and I have heaps of photos up on FlickR to show you - lots of miniature horses and cows and donkeys... They're SO SMALL! It was almost spooky. But it was an awesome day, and we even picked up some terribly delicious Passionfruit Butter they had on sale. Can't wait to have that tomorrow morning on toast!

Now we're back at home, where it's ever so slightly cooler. Much as I love Mamala's house, it's just too damned hot for me because she's right on the water and therefore it's VERY HUMID. However will I survive when summer actually arrives? Argh.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


"Did you just fart?"


Pause. "What's that smell?"

"I don't smell anything."

"You don't smell that?"

"You're having a stroke honey, just go with it."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's a Threesome Alright!

Lots of people believe things happen in threes - I'm one of them. I'm not sure why they actually DO happen in that numerical order, but when it's a string of GOOD luck or good fortune, then I love it dearly.

We were lucky to have it the good way. Firstly, D was granted his 4yr sponsorship through the recruitment agency he's currently with. At first we thought we were going to have to pay out a lump sum which included the sponsorship fees (and even then the sponsorship wasn't guarranteed from Australian Immigration), as well as the necessary physical and overall health checkup. Now it seems we don't have to pay ALL of it; all we are up for is the medical bills, which should not be anywhere near as expensive as the whole sponsorship thing. So, that's the first piece of good news.

The second piece came about a few days ago when my brother was offered a full time position in the company he currently works for. He was originally only doing casual time (less than 25 hours a week) so when they bumped him to full, he now gets anywhere between 30-40 hours a week.

The third fantastic thing that happened, came about today. My sister, who is now on the FULL road to recovery with her illness, landed a waitressing job at a little cafe in town that my family almost always eats at. I could not be more thrilled for her!!! This is so awesome, and I know she must be feeling on top of the world about it.

Now add to that a fourth snippet of interest, which I'm not sure I will consider good news, so therefore I won't include it in my three-good-things-that-have-happened. Well, that and the fact that it would make number four, even if I did.

Anyway. D was offered a job in Texas. I'm torn about this. This was a company he's been trying to land a contract with for a few months now, but they always had this way of brushing him off, or not contacting him when they said they would, and making up excuses. He may argue that point, but this is how I see it to be. The contract he was trying to land, would have netted him quite a profit in the year to come, because of the nature of it (I'm sorry I can't be more specific) and would have seen that income double or triple in subsequent years. Now it appears that the owner of said contract/project doesn't want him to partner up, as was the original plan. I can only guess because he's realized what a moneymaker this project potentially is, and has decided to remain completely greedy and rather than ask D to be a partner, now wants him working for the company full time, with a set wage. In short: MUCH LESS MONEY.

I'm torn because on one hand I can see that D really would like the opportunity I think, and on the other hand, I have little to no interest in moving to Texas. I don't know much about the state, granted, but I still don't want to move there. And I especially don't want to move back to the States in the coming year anyway, because that means my family misses out on my daughters first year or so of life. They've missed on the last TEN YEARS of mine, and I don't want to go through all of that again anytime soon. See my conundrum?

So. I'm not really sure what to do or how to react. As we talked about it last night, it's entirely possible I didn't react the way he would have liked me to, but I can't hide how I'm feeling about it. I know he's more secure in the States and/or Canada because he's familiar with it and it's more like home than Australia is - nevermind that we've only been here for five and a half months, and it took me about a year to a year and a half before I got fully comfortable living in America.

I said to him last night to make sure that when he makes his decision, it's not based on the US being more familiar to him, and thus running away from all the hardships and unfamiliarity here. He said the same thing back to me, asking me if the reason I wanted to stay here was because I was familiar with it. I then told him that that wasn't the reason at all; I had been away from my family for 10 years, and I didn't want to go through it again. The conversation pretty well died at that point and I was left feeling confused and upset.

I'm still not entirely sure what's going to be done, or which way he's leaning, but I know the pressure from his mother can't be helping matters. And I know he misses his friends; that never goes away. When you're living in a different country, you always miss your friends and family. But it's also a learning curve, isn't it? An adventure? Somewhere along the way you find out you have the strength to do it (essentially) on your own, and you ARE capable of making new friends (which he's done already) and starting your life over again. Or maybe this is just me being selfish, I don't know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Finally Did It

I upgraded to a FlickR Pro account. It's awesome, now almost every single picture is accounted for it's own category. Too exciting. Now of course I have to take ALOT more photos to make it worth the $35AUD I had to pay. :|

I have already uploaded a bunch of new ones, including a couple of me showing off the giant bump. I'll get some better ones soon hopefully.

I've discovered the Art and Love of Blinkies. Dear, dear me. It figures I'd have to clutter up my brand new design with blinkie crap and slow down the loading of the page, eh? Ah well, something has to fill the white space, it might as well be that.

Nothing new to report today so far... I'm having a nice relaxing day which is about to be interrupted by going to do some laundry. There's alot to be said for having your own washing machine where you CAN do your own laundry whenever you want to!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I Think She's Going to be More Active Than Any of us Realized

And of course by this, I do mean the parasite. She's been moving around a whole lot today, poking and prodding and tumbling and fumbling and god knows what else. I know she was kicking, actually physically KICKING me since I actually saw the skin of my stomache pop out a couple of times. If I hadn't been so swoony over the fact that my daughter just made her first physical kicks, I would have sworn I was impregnated by an alien, and this alien child now wanted out of its cocoon to let leash its fury on the world.

And quite possibly, that could still be my daughter wanting out already. I don't rightly know. But I'm absolutely thrilled that I got to see my tummy jump with her movements today, and I can't stop talking about it. It's the next best thing to having a constant sonogram. Without the goo.

I had remarked to Mamala I thought this was odd because I'm about 5.5 months along and I didn't think it would be this early I would start to see physical movement. I mused that perhaps she's bigger than we all thought, but according to all my tests and all the sonograms, she's perfectly healthy and at her correct weight for her age so far. This then, leads me to think she's going to be extremely active and energetic. Or violent.

Who knows, I could be at this very moment, carrying the next generation's leader of the trenchcoat mafia. What a proud parent I shall be!

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Love Mrs. Fields Cookies

Particularly the white chocolate macadamia ones. OMG yum. If you haven't tried them, get out of the dark ages and do so. But if you become a Mrs. Fields-aholic, then that's not my fault.

Okay anyway, so I have a few things to ramble about today and in no particular order, either. I'm going to start with the dream I had the other night. It was a particularly erotic dream, involving Britney Spears. And it wasn't like the make out session I had with Jessica Simpson either. No, this one was more full on, full NUDE body contact with the Britster (pre-pregnancy). And I have absolutely NO idea why or where this dream came from, only that I woke up feeling rather disoriented and a little bit scared to think I'd been having a rather sexual dream about this woman. I blame it solely on pregnancy hormones.

Rant removed.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I Should Be Careful What I Wish For

Yesterday I mentioned how wonderful Mother Nature is, what with her avoidance at doing any type of damage to my home or the surrounding area where I live, and I also mentioned about how much we needed some good soaking rain. I was being purely selfish when I mentioned that however, because since it's been so dry and hot and it isn't summer yet, my grass has gone to hell. Actually, it was well on the way TO hell when we moved in, and now it's most of the way there; just a couple more stops to go.

Though maybe not so much now after last night. We got our soaking rain. It drizzled for most of awake hours of last night but I did wake up a couple of times hearing it come down harder. Music to my already tired ears, it surely was.

Now as I sit here typing thing out, having come from a fresh clean shower in which I washed my hair and shaved my legs (which was ... an experience now that my stomache is protruding more and more) I'm wondering if I should have perhaps asked for some light cool winds to come along with the aforementioned rain. It's uncomfortably muggy now; or possibly that's just me. I tend to feel the heat more than the other people around here, so it could very well be that I'm just being more selfish than I have a right to be, when it is indeed, quite lovely outside.

And, in accordance with it being "lovely" and the rain we had last night, we have had 2 more spider incidents: one last night while on the phone to Mamala, and one this morning. I had Garth and D with me last night, so I was MUCH MUCH (times infinity) braver than had I been alone, and that spider was rather large and nobody knew what type it was. It was gassed almost immediately and then I felt badly afterward. Probably all it wanted to do was come in from the rain - not that it would have found any live food in the house. And then this morning I saw another spider that I thought had longer legs than a typical Daddy Longlegs, however as it turns out after I sprayed it, it was only a Daddy and then I felt much, much WORSE. Those spiders I try and leave alone because they eat all the other spiders that come into the house. I have one in my bedroom that I'm leaving alone, and one in my kitchen I'm not going to spray either. It won't make up for the few lives I've already taken since being here, but it's a start.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just Another Manic Thursday...

I guess we're pretty lucky where we live. A few days ago there was a raging bushfire about 15 mins (in both directions) from where we live, but we didn't get touched. Then yesterday there was a sever thunderstorm warning in effect for SE Queensland, and while the bordering town got slammed with hail, we did not. In fact, we got nothing. Brisbane got hit hard apparently, and a few towns out west did as well. The hail storm passed by my house with a wink and a wave, as though it knew it had taken an extra week to get our internet installed and it wasn't going to do anything to mess that up.

THANK YOU Mother Nature. You are the best and most wonderful Mother ever. Thank you for sparing all of our computer equipment, and our house, and our cars, and our back lawn that desperately needs a torrential downpour of rain for 10 mins, and most of all thank you for not spearing our nearest exchange with a bolt of lightning that would have invariably caused our internet to snuff. Thank you.

Today I'm installing WoW on D's laptop for him while he's at work, because I love him so much. That and I'm mostly bored shitless lately. I don't like Black and White 2 at all, or possibly it's the fact that my system dogs it hardcore and I'm kind of sick of playing The Sims 2, even though Nightlife kicks ass and one of my guys has a vamp lover.

Yesterday I read My Sweet Audrina and that brings me up to date with the bunches of Virginia Andrews books I own - Flowers in the Attic series and the Heaven series - so now I'm at a loss for reading material. I think I will have to go on a spending spree at Amazon and buy up some books so I'll have something to read, because god knows I'm not paying $25 for a lousy paperback novel. (Australia, your taxes SUCK ASS and why the hell do we have an IMPORT TAX ON BOOKS?!)

If I had oodles of money I would convince Mamala to come up here and we could go on a spending spree, but since I have basically no money, I can't very well justify that. And I'm out of milk which means tonight I'll send D to the store to pick some up on his way home from work.

And speaking of my beloved, he's being offered sponsorship into the country by the company he's working for. Hooray! I'm not sure when they're getting all the paperwork signed and done, but he's got his 3mth contract renewed, which is perfect since that means it will expire in February - right about the time our screaming bundle of joy comes along. Too fabulous.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"WE HAVE ADSL!" he screams.

Finally. Almost a solid week late, but we have it. I would have jumped for joy had I not been in the middle of installing Black and White 2. Immediately after installing, I set about replying to the scores of email I had while in the "Internet Drought" and once half the day was gone, I loaded up B&W2 for play.

I'm so happy we have internet back - how I missed you, internet!

I had been keeping an offline blog which I have just put online, and also did a bit of a revamp of the site. The header image isn't appearing yet, but the rest of it works and that's all that I'm going to worry about right now.

I have finally caught up on my blog reading - wow many of you have been super busy - and am now a trifle exhausted. That might be because it was a little bit warm today as well, and I haven't eaten as well as I should have (mostly junk foods) and I have a sore throat which probably means that I'm coming down with something again. Joy!

But nothing's going to keep me down today. I HAVE INTERNET!

Friday, October 07, 2005

I Can’t Get Over How Lazy People Are

(Otherwise Entitled: A General Rant About Australia and it’s Occupants, Caused by my Enraged Hormones)

I’m still without internet, and now I’m just more than annoyed. When we signed up last week, we were informed on the signup page that it could take up to 21 days to get connected. I was agape over that – surely this country isn’t THAT backward that it takes so long to get an ADSL line up and running!

My brother assured me that when he had his connection at Mum’s house, it only took a week to get hooked in. Satisfied, and my faith restored in the non-backwardness of Australia, I was happy to wait a week. After all, it did take only a week for my ADSL line back in Connecticut, to get hooked up and ready to go. I don’t think that’s particularly unreasonable.

We were given an order/reference number on our ADSL order, and every couple of days, D would check the status from work. On Monday the status gave an ETA of the 6th, that the phone company was informed and they would be implementing our service by that date. Our lines were checked and we are indeed able to receive an ADSL line; all we were waiting on was the phone company to shift into gear, and go do it.

We’re still waiting today. My brother called up in the internet provider we’re going through, and they did a quick check to see what was going on. It seems that Telstra (the most ass backward phone company EVER) still haven’t gotten around to connecting the line. And, since we are going through an independent provider, it’s out of their hands now. Apparently we can’t even call Telstra on it either, and find out when the hell they’re going to get moving on FLIPPING THE SWITCH because we are not going through them directly.

Oh yes, I’m more than annoyed now. Even more so because I missed the wedding of two very dear friends of mine today! They got married in Vegas, and they were doing a live broadcast for everyone who was interested in watching. I swear, it’s days like this that I really, really miss America and wonder why the hell I’m living here now.

It’s not just Telstra though. I’m so fed up with the general laziness of Australians and Australian companies. D had to wait THREE MONTHS to get his laptop fixed, and he only needed his ram stick replaced! Three months of constantly calling Toshiba Australia, three months of being pushed around, three months of them telling him he had to call someone else, ad nauseum. It’s ridiculous. On top of that, we informed our real estate agent LAST WEEK that there are many things around this house that need fixing. She said she was going to contact the owner (who happens to be Middle Eastern of all races) and the building company. Do you think anything has been fixed? Do you think anyone has contacted us regarding it – including our oh-so-wonderful real estate agent? No, why would they? If we ignore it, they’ll go away.

Honestly, so many companies, so many people we have dealt with over here so far, have left such a bad taste in our mouths. Is it so freaking hard to get up off your flat, lazy asses and FIX things that need fixing? Yes Australia is a wonderful country in and of itself. The people are friendly for the most part, even though in my opinion the ladies over here could be a little less uncouth, and the weather is generally beautiful even when it’s pushing 40 degrees and my feet swell to the size of balloons. If you can overlook the fact that they’re just so lazy then this is a great place to be. It’s one thing to be laidback and slow, it’s something completely different to take it the ultimate extreme and turn it into pure laziness.

All countries have their ups and downs, this I know. It’s just a matter of choosing the lesser of the evils – much like in the last US elections – and stick with it. I’m just rapidly losing interest here; there’s so much I can’t stand and the laziness is a huge factor. The monopolizing ranks high up there too. Oh, and the unemployment system; what a joke THAT is. Don’t get me started on the outrageous taxes either, not that Canada is any better.

Bah. End Rant.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I Never Thought I Was This Addicted

Still no ADSL service yet. We put the order in last Wednesday. I realize I’m impatient, but it’s been six days already and I NEED to get connected again. I feel so out of the loop and lost! Particularly in regards to the baby – I’m subscribed to 2 newsletters that I get each week and they give me updates on the baby’s growth and what she’s doing (because other than the nudging and occasional pinching I have no idea).

We did have an interesting day yesterday, the parasite and I. It seems she’s invented a new game to play while in the womb, all warm and snuggled like a bug in a rug. (Incidentally, I had a bug incident this afternoon, read down) Lately when I’ve felt the urge to pee, I can normally get away with holding it for awhile – sometimes up to an hour or more, though I try not to do this even though I have to for the ultrasounds, but I digress – but yesterday I could not. No, try as I might, as soon as I felt like I had to go, believe me, I HAD TO GO because the little parasite was prodding my bladder!

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that I’m paranoid and that the fetus I’m carrying wouldn’t necessarily do that to me. But what you don’t know, is that she is my daughter, so yes. Yes she would. And she did. Numerous times. Prod, prod, prod on my bladder, pushing with all her might. If I strained hard enough, I could swear I heard her giggling over it. The game even had a title: Let’s See If I Can Make Mommy Wet Herself While She’s Running to the Bathroom.

Do you know I’m not supposed to run, child? Especially on tiled flooring? With slippers on? Oh I’m sure you know, because you can hear your Father when he talks to me, and you can hear your Nanna when she talks to me, and yes you can even hear Dr. Raam when HE talks to me and tells me what I shouldn’t be doing while I’m CARRYING YOU.

Anyway, having said that, onto my bug incident. Actually, it’s not so much a bug incident as it was a SPIDER incident. Though nothing nearly as upsetting as the Spider Incident in Arizona thank god. (I wasn’t pregnant then, and could leap a mile in the air if I had to – it’s not so easy now)

I was outside relaxing on my back patio, bare feet on the cobblestoned ground, when my gaze just happened to fall upon this dirty great beast. Why O Lord? Why me? WHY CONSTANTLY ME?! It sat there, in the grass, mocking me with it’s eight hairy legs and it’s gazillions of eyes. It was huge, 50c piece huge (including leg span, which I now realize ISN’T huge but I was freaking out at the time, remember) and I sucked in a great gasp of air, thus creating a minor vacuum in the immediate vicinity for all of 5 seconds. In a THRICE! I was up off that chair and clinging from the patio roof. And its eyes followed me. I KNOW they did. But I was unable to remain clinging to the patio roof, because as you’ll recall, I am not the graceful, lithe creature I once was. Now I have a giant growth in my stomache somewhere between my ribcage and bladder, and when gravity gets you, there’s just no stopping it. After thundering to the earth, I stood up and ran inside to get the spray. And then I came back out and sprayed the bitch. HAHA CHARLOTTE! I was victorious as the spider tried in vain to scamper away – and in my victorious cowardice, I jumped back inside and shut the screen door quickly so as to stop any unwanted intrusion.

No, I don’t know what kind of spider this was. I know it’s not a huntsman because I’ve never seen this spider before. Hairy and brown, similar to a huntsman, but with light and dark grey, and black stripes on its body. I shudder to think it might still be out there, NOT dead and nowhere close to it. Perhaps like the Spider That Could Not Be Drowned, this one is impervious to Mortein-brand poisonous gas and I will have to squash it with someone’s shoe. (Not my shoe, you understand, I’m not walking around with spider innards on my sole – heehee get it? Soul? Bah)

God I miss the internet.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I Really Thought Furnishing a House Would Be Lots of Fun

But, I was wrong. We spent Saturday afternoon in Domayne Furniture, looking through their giant warehouse of stuff before settling on a lovely 3 seater and matching 2.5 seater couch suite. And then we decided on a 6 seater dining suite, and after all of that (and believe me it took FOREVER), Garth and D headed into a back room to fill out all the paperwork to get it financed. 2 years interest free, 0 money down or 4 years interest free, 1/3 deposit down. We chose the 2 year period, which we can have paid off fairly easily.

The sales guy we had was an absolute prick though. He was very rude, very obnoxious and it pissed me off we were stuck giving him the commission he made off our sale. When I asked him when it’ll be delivered, the following conversation ensued:

Him: Four weeks.

Me: Can you give me a date?

Him: It’s roughly four weeks.

Me: From today? When you put the order in? When does the order go in?

Him: (sighs in agitation) It’s about four weeks, alright? It comes up from Sydney and we don’t know when it’s getting here until the day before.

Me: (just as agitated, if not moreso) Well I need a date. SOMEBODY has to be at the house and I have Dr. appointments all through the month (indicating to my stomache showing I’m plainly pregnant) and I need at LEAST a weeks notice.

Him: (glaring at me) Well give us a call in three weeks. We should know by then.

If Garth hadn’t wanted this set so bad, I would have screamed abuse at him, told him where he could put his truckload of furniture, cancelled the order and stormed out. I’m just not able to portray the kind of asshole this guy is. He wasn’t even interested in helping us from the start, but we had already waited HALF AN HOUR for someone to come and help us, and he was – unfortunately – the first sales guy we spotted.

Anyhow, so now we have some nice shit coming next month. I just cannot believe it takes them a month to get stuff in!! Somehow I feel like I was conned or something, I don’t know. Anyone else dealt with Domayne Furniture?

In other news, I’ve been feeling the baby move a lot this weekend which I’m happy about. I hadn’t been feeling her as regularly for the past 2 weeks and I’d been getting worried, but then during the ultrasound we had last week, she was moving all OVER the place and I wasn’t feeling it, so I’m very happy she’s back to being rather active and buoyant and I can feel her again. Little bit stronger than butterfly wings, and mouse tumbles – more like nudges now in my lower abdomen.

I have a hospital appointment on Wednesday afternoon and get to chat with a Dr. about the ultrasound results, which I have yet to pick up. From this point on, I get to alternate between a hospital Dr. and my regular Dr. until the baby is born. That’s going to make life fun. ;)

Saturday night we went to Mum’s for dinner and while I wish I could say the food was good, it sucked hardcore. We made a lasagne with one of those dinner kits you can buy, and OMG it was salty. Just bloody awful. I don’t recommend those San Remo Lasagne Kits. But, the company was exceptional and unfortunately the evening flew by way too quickly and all too soon we were on the road to come home. (Honestly it sucks being an hour from her, but at least it’s better than being half a world away)

Sunday saw us at the Hyperdome shopping center because we had to pick up yet MORE shit for the house. I am SO SICK of shopping for house related stuff. It’s just not fun!! Or maybe I’m not doing it right or something. But anyway, my feet were killing me after we’d been walking around for 3 hours, and my ankles were swelling up. Thankfully by that point we were done and were going home, but my poor feet! They burned and tingled for ages before the swelling went down.

But it looks as though we have now gotten 90% of the stuff one needs to buy when one is furnishing a new home. And all I can say is thank god for Garth cause without his third on everything, we wouldn’t have nearly as much this soon.

I hope when I finally get to go baby shopping to furnish the baby’s room, it’s not going to be nearly as harrowing an experience.