Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Today

Today.
Today I had one of those mornings. I have a Company lunch at a nice Italian restaurant today. I’m looking forward to it very much, and already know what I’m ordering! I plan on ordering linguine with marinara sauce and large prawns. Since a holiday back in 2004-ish I always order prawns/shrimp with my pasta.

I knew I had to dress up a little more this morning, but for the life of me couldn’t get it together. I was looking at my wardrobe full of skirts and dresses, and felt confused. It took longer to get ready, longer to get my food together for the day and longer to brush my hair… yes, it was one of those days. I ended up being 5 minutes late for work. My brain was asleep. I never drink caffeinated coffee in the morning (I figure if I need caffeine to wake up each morning, there is a problem. But this morning I relented and slowly poured a strong coffee without any guilt.

Once the coffee was downed I looked at my odd ensemble for the day. My outfit doesn’t quite make sense. Its ok. But odd. My tights don’t quite match the skirt I’m wearing. The proportions of my outfit are a little off. I’m ok with that though. There are far more important things in this world that don’t quite make sense.

Yesterday we had a storm in California. It was so nice to have rain, although I wasn't prepared for it. At lunch I took a walk in the rain with my weak umbrella. Thankfully my umbrella didn't pop inside out!

I was hoping it would rain tomorrow (my day off!), but there are blue skies again. Still, its nice and chilly. I plan on cleaning, reading my book and starting a mosaic on a terracotta pot.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Granny Chic

Thursday morning. I’m not feeling so well and I’m not sure why. I feel like I’ve been fighting something for a couple of weeks. I’ve been getting “chills” and have horrendous allergies – which in themselves make me feel unwell. I often think I have a cold because allergies cause the following: headaches, fatigue, cough, constant sneezing etc. But last night I went to bed feeling nauseous, it woke me up in the night and I still felt sick with chills this morning. But no sore throat, no temperature. So I’m not really sure whats going on! I don’t think it warrants a doctors visit anyway.

So, I’m at work. Yesterday was fun. I’ve been playing a song on piano by Mendelssohn – the Venetian Boat Song. It’s a very romantic piece of music. When it comes to classical music I always favour the romantic melodies. I got to practice that for about an hour all up.

I just went to this danish bakery near my work. There were 3 old ladies all dressed up ordering their morning coffee and biscuits. I smiled to myself and thought about being their age someday. I hope to grow old with my husband and closest friends. It might sound weird but I am looking forward to being an old lady. No longer worrying about that extra biscuit I had with my cup of tea. Being a little more ballsy and not caring so much about what other people think. Wearing whatever I want, being as eccentric as possible. I plan on being very eccentric! I like being young of course and having a lot of energy – youth is wonderful. I’m not so sure about middle age – I’ve always thought a person is young until… they are old. Does that make sense? Eg. My husband’s parents. They’re stylish parents with a whole lot of energy and pizazz. They are in their 50’s/60’s. In my opinion they are still young. They love to go bikeriding, love to go for walks and are very active. To me that’s young. I think a person at 80 would look at 50 year olds and say “yeah, I was young and I didn’t even know it”.

So anyway, since I was feeling not so well, I thought I’d treat myself to a biscuit and coffee since I am at work - a bit of a "yay, you made it". A little stroll in the sun did the trick and lifted the spirits. They have these chocolate drop cookies I just love. It’s a small Danish butter biscuit with a big swirly dollop of icing on top. That paired with a cup of coffee – wonderful! It pretty much made my morning. Curiously, when I walked back up the stairs to my work it smelt like a wash room, you know, the delightful smell of fabric softener? Its one of my favourite smells. I love to walk by the wash room in our apartment complex at home.

I’m starting to feel pretty fit these days. I don’t look super fit, but I’m feeling it. Yesterday I went to the gym and did a run for 40 minutes and didn’t need to stop once. When I first started going to the gym I struggled to do a 10 minute run. I’m pretty pleased with this. Its my goal to work up to an hour. I don’t do a full on fast run, but it’s a run nonetheless. I’ve been going to the gym twice a week for months now. That along with a 30 minute walk a couple of times a week (which I've always done, for as long as I can remember). My Mum used to go for a 30 minute walk every evening and would drag me along. I'm grateful now for the routine of that.

Last night I woke my husband up because of sleep talking again. Then he woke me up to stop the talking.

End of random thoughts for today :) Hope you're having a swell day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lists

I’m excited about a few projects underway. After 2.5 years of marriage my life is in order and I can think clearly again. Its time to indulge in some passions. I was so caught up in moving country, dealing with homesickness and building a life here and learning to be a housewife, I let a lot of the things I love to do be ignored. Unfortunately I engaged in some retail therapy. Not so much that I can’t pay it off soon. But more than I would like. After all, things don’t make us happy.

The Thinking about List: Here’s a list of what I have been thinking about.

A creative writing course. I’m yet to look this up to see if any course times fit in with my Wednesday off.

Sewing course. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but I’m struggling to find a class that fits in with my schedule. So this will have to wait for the time being.

The Regardless List: Things I can do regardless.

Daniel and I are buying a camcorder! I have always loved making movies/silly comedies. So I’m real excited about this. I was thinking of embarking on a project about Southern California. Going to my favourite spots, explaining different things about our lives here. It would be interesting for our friends back home in Oz, and my parents. We’re going to Florida soon, and I’d like to make movies about our travels in the US.

Guitar lessons. I’ve always wanted to learn guitar. I’m going for it. I was looking on Craigslist and there are a bunch of guitars being sold really inexpensively. Its time.

I want to learn another Sonata on piano. Its been a while since learning a new classical piece. Lately I’ve been learning a couple of songs from a Nat King Cole book. “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Smile”. I’ve been trying to jazz them up a little. But, I’m eager to work on a classical piece that is a little grittier.

I love my little plants on our balcony which currently consist of a miniature rose plant given to me by Anna and miniature cactus plants which are growing more steadily than I anticipated! So I want to get a big rectangle flower pot from Home Depot. We have a bunch of 40% off coupons from Michael’s so am going to do a mosaic on the flower pot. I thought that would be a nice way to celebrate my pot plants.

The regardless list is things I’m going to start doing in the next few weeks. The thinking about list will have to wait. There are only so many hours in a day. And only so much money in the pockets. Mosaics will be nice and inexpensive. There is this junk yard close by that has a bit batch of old tiles for next to nothing. If I scour junk yards, the only cost will be glue, the flower pot and eventually grout and sealer (once I get to that point).

Guitar lessons. Well. I’m not sure what to do there. Professional lessons will be best. I have a knowledge of music already (piano) which will hopefully help me. But I want to get technique down, instead of forming my own bad habits from the start.

All that aside, things are going nicely. I’m enjoying having a day off each week. Many weeks I’m busy in the mornings and in the afternoon I do some study and then ride my bike to the coffee shop to read the book of the moment (currently reading Breakfast at Tiffanys by Truman Capote). Then getting home and cooking dinner. Last weekend we went for a bikeride by this lake near a mountainous area. It was beautiful there. The bikeride was somewhat strenuous (no gears on my bmx!). We stopped by the lake for about an hour in between our ride to play a boardgame. My husband always brings a boardgame, just in case we get the opportunity to play a game, even on a dusty bikeride.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The first of many Wednesdays

Yesterday I had my first Wednesday off. I can’t believe I’ll be taking Wednesdays off every week! It seems to good to be true! It was such a nice feeling waking up, knowing I could do whatever I wanted. I had planned to go to the record store to check out some new music, listen to records I can’t afford to buy. Get a membership at our local library, and do a salsa class at the gym, and do some cleaning. I started off the morning with a bang by doing some reading over breakfast, then starting the housework. Housework ended up with me getting very into it and it turned out to be spring cleaning (although I know its fall here – my husband pointed that out to me). I decided I’m going to do the same thing next Wednesday. So my house will be in spit spot condition. I’m planning on buying a scrubbing brush and scrubbing those floors next week. Usually I use my foam mop, which I don’t believe cleans well enough. I also plan on going over all the skirting boards properly and cleaning my blinds (and getting a window cleaner in). Yesterday I did solid housework for 5 hours. What a workout! I was exhausted by the end of it. Today I feel such a sense of accomplishment. After next week I’ll keep Wednesday mornings to do my own thing and the afternoons can be set aside for cleaning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The most important meal of the day...

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day: its my favourite. Other meals I can take or leave – I’m happy to snack throughout the day on bits and pieces. A good, healthy and satisfying breakfast however is at the top of the list of priorities in my day. A few weeks back we were up in LA – I was very excited to go to a bakery café for breakfast. The Vienna Café. It has become a fast favourite of mine. The eggs benedict are to die for. Complimentary red velvet cupcakes and a basket of hot, freshly baked bread and rolls.. yes please!

I was reading Real Simple magazine – an article on healthy snacks. I’ll be the first to admit that I indulge in way too many snacks with preservatives. 100 calorie snack packs, otter pops, candy. All the good but bad stuff. So, I made it my goal to eat healthier, more sustaining snacks. Today I had Fage greek yoghurt with a dollop of honey and plain oats. What an amazing breakfast. So healthy and extremely filling - very delicious. Usually I will eat yoghurt and cheerios for breakfast. Or toast with jam and a piece of fruit with yoghurt. I’m totally sold on Fage greek yoghurt. Its wonderfully creamy. My friend Anna has talked about the greek yoghurt in Greece. Anna is in Greece right now. She says there is nothing like the yoghurt there. Mmm. I’d love to try it someday. My other snack for the day is a chopped up apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter to go with it. For lunch I’m planning on a boiled egg and salad. Its my preservative-free eating day. I’m wondering if I will feel fuller on “real” food? Usually I eat a mix of quick foods and natural foods. I love to shop at organic stores and Trader Joes/Henry’s/Whole Foods. Unfortunately the convenience factor of a quick packet of chips gets in the way of my healthy eating.

What is your favourite meal of the day?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Uh oh

I'm on a shoe roll...

These are fierce!

But not too fierce... while I like the bondage-style shoe (aka amped up gladiator), these are a happy medium for my somewhat conservative (?) self.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting ready for "Fall"

I'm totally in love with these boots:-


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car

Its 4:08pm and I have a lot of other things to do at work besides blogging. I woke up feeling pretty cranky and then had a work meeting at midday with my colleagues, which took place at a local eatery. The 4 of us were throwing around different ideas in relation to the software developed inhouse, and any enhancements that we’d like to see. I tried not to scowl as I sat there with my ray bans on, acid wash black teeshirt and skinny jeans. Its one of those days where I’d listen to Creep by Radiohead really loudly… if Rockband hadn’t killed it for me. ps I'm not a hipster I promise (see pic below if you don't believe me).

Other than that things are fine. I feel like I’m hanging out each week for the weekend, and eventually my day off each week – the day that will keep me sane and hopefully inspires me some. I’ve decided to do up a plan of action each Tuesday night to get things accomplished on that glorious Wednesday I’m building up so much. I know my schedule for the most part. I want to also fit in little things like going to a cute café and reading a book, doing some sort of craft project some afternoons, being like a Queenslander at the beach and bumming around. Taking some fun class at the gym.

My friend J has started blogging again. Her blog “This is the last…” is a music blog with lots of interesting music you might not come across when you listen to mainstream radio. J is a quirky fun gal with character to boot – this comes out in her blog. I’m glad to have her back blogging again.

Here’s a pic of my husband and I on the weekend with our hired car. I wish we could say its ours.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mission Successful!

Starting mid September I have Wednesday's off!!!

Staple that!

Thursday. I wish it were Friday. I’m dead tired this week. Its just one of those weeks. Yesterday I was super grumpy. To help with that I thought I'd go out for pizza. About once every 6 months I crave beer and pizza. I generally really dislike takeaway food (pizza, burgers, fries etc) But once in a blue moon I get a hankering for pizza. So I go to the local New York style pizza place… order a beer and my pizza. Drink half my beer… half an hour later… where’s my pizza? Someone else took it, and there was none left. Sigh. I wanted to cry. I was still hungry, and ended up getting something from KFC which I regretted. I don’t even like KFC. It was a waste of my 6 month junk food spat.

I’m still waiting to hear back about having Wednesday’s off. My boss ok’d Mondays – but its Wednesday’s that will best suit my schedule. I’m pretty pleased I got an ok for any day off. But a Wednesday would be even better.

I did a silly thing today. Lately I’ve been wondering where the paper clips are in the office. And why we don’t have any around? Well… today I looked at the box that says “staples” on it. The box has paper clips in it, and they are from the store “Staples”!!! How foolish am I?! All this time I have thought it was a box of staples. That’s my funny story for the day.

hasta luego!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Today's the day

Monday I finally asked my employer if I can go part time. Aka one day off per week. I don't want to go home to Australia one day and be like "Yeah... living in America was great. I mean I worked 40 hours a week. Was a housewife. And managed to have one afternoon to myself each week. Plus one sleep in a month". It was time to do something about it. So today I hear back if I can have a day off!! I'm very excited about the prospect of working part time. If its mission unsuccessful I'm going to be looking for a part time job.

I can't stop thinking about all the things I want to do on that one day of freedom each week.

Watch this space ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thankfully

I'm totally in love with these Asic Tigers right now. Thank goodness they aren't available in my size!





Thats about as meaningful as it gets today.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Way

I've had a really great couple of weeks. Its summer here, so there is a lot going on. We've been going to "Jazz in the Park", and swing dancing. We had a bonfire at the beach on Tuesday night with our good friend's Q&A. We played cricket on the beach while the sun set. Cooked smores. My husband is with the nerdy masses this week for Comic Con. I've been seeing a personal trainer at my gym. I'm 30 next year, and have a goal of feeling fantastic at that time. For the last 6 weeks I've been working out 3-4 times a week, along with my daily walks and now incorporating weights into my routine. Its going really well - and albeit sore, I feel like the cobwebs are getting cleaned out. I'm someone who thrives on a lot of exercise. When I get into it, I feel fantastic. I walk almost daily for a good 30-40 minutes, but needed some weight training and harder cardio to get a sweat up.

A couple of weeks ago my MIL arranged for some friends and I to have an organized shopping tour in LA! It was amazing - so much fun. It was a complete surprise. We went to vintage stores around Melrose and La Brea. The best vintage stores I have ever shopped at! I walked away with 4 too many dresses to add to my ridiculously large wardrobe. One day I swear I'll ebay it all and live off 2 pairs of jeans, 2 skirts, 2 tops and a dress. Well, maybe.

So, thats whats been going on in my life. I'm officially a full-time-blog-neglector.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

LA Baby

I just found out that Los Angeles means "the angels" hence the term "City of Angels"... it only took me 2 1/2 years.

I need to do a recap on last weekend. Our friend Melita flew in from Canada (she's Australian) after a 6 week vacation in America and Canada. We were picking her up at LAX so decided just to stay the night up in LA. We booked a hotel room in Santa Monica. The night she flew in, the 3 of us ate at Barney's Beanery. The menu is like a newspaper! So many choices. Anyway, I'm not going to ramble on with every detail about our trip, except this one thing that happened.

We took our friend to the walk of fame in Hollywood. There was a line all the way from the Gap store to Michael Jackson's star. It was very busy. We decided to go to Beverly Hills to show Melita some of the beautiful homes, and go for a walk in a nice neighborhood. We park, we're walking around the most beautiful, lush neighbourhood you've ever seen. We basked in the warmth of the day and the beauty of the area. We'd been walking for about half an hour when we came across a shrine for Michael Jackson on a random street corner. People were around it. We walk up the hill a little... there are camera crews, more shrines. We had stumbled across Michael Jackson's house just a few days after his death. How bizarre is that?! Like I said, the neighbourhood we were walking in was very luxurious, very manicured and unbelievably lovely. How bizarre that we'd stumble across his house.

LA in general was a riot - we had a fantastic time there. Walking around Santa Monica, eating the most wonderful crepes for breakfast. But our walk in Beverly Hills was the highlight. It was great to be away from the crowds and noise at Hollywood.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I can see it in your eyes

Last night was hilarious. My husband and I did our yearly shopping trip for his wardrobe. He HATES to shop for clothes, so we go when the sales are on and he does it all at once.

My husband is an Accountant and super conservative. He has his own style happening. Its not flamboyant though, to say the least. He's in the changerooms at one store and is trying on jeans - found a great pair. I made him try on some skinny jeans. I see his feet under the dressing room door and he starts doing a footloose dance. I laughed so hard I was crying and my belly ached. Then he stepped out in those jeans. I laughed even harder. SO not his style. I mean, he looked fine in them - it was hilarious seeing him in those jeans. Skinny jeans - raw denim. Husband was cracking up also. It was a pretty fun trip to the boring mall. Then we went to Macys to get him shirts for work. We got home and were still laughing. I went to bed thinking I'm glad I'm married to someone I get a kick out of.

This morning I've been listening to all sorts of good music. It started out with Jackson 5, then Stevie Wonder... Lionel Richie... FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All American

Last night I went to bed feeling sick in the stomach, and woke up feeling the same way. I'm not sure why. All I know is that by 10am I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich (aka cheese toastie). So I ordered one, and it came packed in all its greasy glory. Funny thing, in America - when you ask for a scraping of butter, and half the usual amount of cheese - its what we'd get normally in Australia when we order a cheese toastie. Interesting.

I’m not getting those Doc Marten’s, in case anyone was wondering. I really love them – but I would not get enough wear out of them to justify the purchase. Wait… that sounds so… sensible…

Right now I’m really loving these Swedish Hasbeens. Delightful eh? I’m imagining them with my vintage sundresses. At this point, all it will be is imagining:)



The other day I was at Michael’s and bought charcoal pencils and a sketchbook. I haven’t sketched in years –used to really enjoy it in High School. My sketching is a little rusty now – but I’m enjoying doing something a little arty. I think I’ve been craving that. I used to love art, and always had some kind of art or craft project in the works.

Well. Lunchtime. I’m grabbing my bmx and going home.

I have this new colleague who bugs me a little. He is a heavy smoker, and after a smoke walks right past my desk. The smoke is still thick and makes my stomach churn. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but I can't see past the way my stomach feels!!! I know that probably sounds politically incorrect - but its my blog, and pah!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco

Wednesday afternoon. I just ate a bucketload of sushi. Jealous? You should be. It was darn good.

Last night I visited with my friend Jill & her housemate Mozza. They're both swell chicks. It was nice to have a fat chat with some gals over a glass of white wine. I treasure doing things like this with my female friends. Its one of the things I used to do a lot of, and not so much of any more. I'm not sure if marriage changed that or moving country changed that. Anyway, it put a bit of a smile on my dial.

My husband is in San Francisco right now on a business trip, just overnight, so I've had the car which has felt quite liberating. Yes, we have just one car. How very un-American of us:) So this morning, on the way to work I indulged in a Starbucks and muffin. At lunch drove to get sushi and went to a different area. Sometimes I really wish I had a car so I could go to the gym at lunch and do whatever I want. But, I know its better this way. Making my lunch 9/10 and just going for walks along the beach. I know that all in all this is the much better option - being able to bikeride around and walk everywhere. Its a healthier option also! According to my friend Jill, its the Danish way.

That's all folks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Affluenza

Yesterday my husband and I both signed up for the gym. 24 Hour Fitness. They had a special on - $199 for the year, including all the gyms nation wide, except the Super or Ultra clubs (non of which are near us anyway!). I have been sitting down five days a week, eating well but slowly gaining pounds from lack of exercise. I'm not interested in losing a bunch of weight, just toning up again and feeling more energetic. We all know how much better it feels when you have been keeping up with regular exercise! I have been feeling like a corpse lately. I used to exercise quite a lot when living in Australia. We're an outdoorsy nation, and I walked in the city a lot, went for long walks and bikerides with my friends. Here, I walk most days for 30 minutes - but don't walk around and about through the day. Just sit down. So, I think its good to go to the gym 3-4 times a week and build up a sweat, get the heart rate up. I'm really excited about it. Last night my husband and I went for an hour together, and felt so good after. I feel really good today: like I got some cobwebs out. And the best thing is... no startup fees. Just $199 for the year, including everything. That works out at $17 per month each for my husband I. That is an insanely good price. The 24 hour fitness gyms in our area are really nice. To think I used to pay $100 per month in Sydney for my gym membership... pah! Husband and I are planning on playing racketball together. Its not really my cup of tea, but he really enjoys it. I'm happy to do any sport if it means he gets into it.

This morning I was drinking nescafe. It reminds me of servo's in the middle of nowhere in WA. Driving along the beaten track, stopping by the servo, getting a coffee - its always nescafe with milk and water. Love it.

I recently have acquired my own bank accounts. Thats right, I'm looking after my own finances. Well, kind of. I have a certain amount going into my account, the rest into our joint account. Why? So I can manage my own money. I do a lot better with my budget when I can monitor it and feel "in control". Otherwise i assume everything is fine, unless Husband says something. Already after looking at my budget - what I have per month, that its either eating lunch out, coffee's etc or getting a facial. One or the other. So I'm getting a facial, and making all my lunches and making my coffee at work. No more Starbucks!!! So I got up at 7am yesterday and today in order to make lunch. Impressive huh?!

Recently I have been thinking a LOT about how spending stops you from achieving goals in life. I've been meditating on where I want to be in 10 years, what I would have liked to accomplish. For us, it means paying off debt as quickly as possible. I bet my husband last night that we can pay it off in a year if we are head down, bum up. I have been feeling really disappointed in myself the last 6 months - and I want that feeling to end. I think reading the book "Affluenza" has been really motivating also. So no more clothes. Shoes: if I save up for them. Basically, it has to be one or the other. If I want to get highlights in my hair: I need to save up for it. I'm hoping I can direct my energies towards other, more important things to me. We live in such a spendthrift society, which I'm tired of contributing to. I've realised the guilt I've been feeling. And realizing I will eventually miss out on other things I want to do in life, more important things, because we haven't really knuckled down. We have a modest apartment and car. But I know how much money can be wasted day to day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Accountant

The phone rang. I had it nestled between my ear and my shoulder. After saying a formal greeting to my client, proceeded to drop the phone and banana, which was in my other hand, in a rather extravagant and timely fashion. I usually don't believe in the 5 second rule, but for the sake of my hungry stomach I ignored the rule and ate the banana.

Its Friday. Which I'm really thankful for. I've been almost falling asleep at work, which isn't something I'd usually do.

My husband and I have decided to do our budgeting a little differently. I'm going to have a personal budget to work with. I don't work so well with massive credit cards. I used to have a credit card of $500. When it was maxed out, it was time to get it back down again. I don't spend extraordinary amounts, but more than I would like to. There. I said it. I'd like to really crack down and save for things that are more important to me. Like seeing the world, even on my measly 2 weeks vacation per year. Hopefully that changes sometime soon. I am itching to get to China and South America and experience a different culture other than the western one. It seems smart to visit South America while we are living so close. To travel around South America from Australia takes a big big chunk of change. I think when I go shopping I'm still very much "The Accountant". I never buy anything "cheap" or anything at full price, rather something that is well made and highly discounted. But sometimes I look at it all and think "why?" - I'd love to do a big purge someday and live off the basics. I will probably never have the heart to do that, but am trying to put a stop to spending overall. It seems so pointless and meaningless. I'm not a "things" person. We live in a humble but cute apartment with the basics - almost all of our furniture, apart from a few Ikea pieces were all given to us. I could leave it behind in a jiffy with no pangs of distress. My wardrobe on the other hand... I'd probably box it up and ship it to my Mum for safekeeping:)

So its 10am and my cup of tea is brewing. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Tonight a friend and I are going for a walk straight after work. Then I think catching up with my aussie mate for a cup of tea and a chin-wag.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled"

I’m at work and battling a serious case of jetlag. I know I know. You can hardly feel sympathetic for me, as I just indulged in a 10 day vacation across the pacific in a thriving laid back metropolis called Sydney Australia.

It was more than good. I couldn’t wipe the dumb grin off my face for a few days after arriving. My friend Rowena and I did our rendition of Moulin Rouge’s Elephant Love Medley. Expensively brilliant Indian food was devoured by a group of us at “Delhi O Delhi” in Newtown. We sang “Singin in the Rain” at the Hero of Waterloo located in The Rocks. It was sunny and warm and very non-winterish the first few days. The next 6 days made up for that by torrential downpours.

It was really good to go home and see all my friends. To sit home with them most nights watching movies. Talking about nothing, and laughing about nothing. Getting to spend time with my friends on their days off, doing some of the things they usually do on those days. We drank many cups of tea – a ritual I miss very much and hit up the good old Aussie bakeries. We even went to an AFL game. It was a bit of a highlight. That night we were running a little late, so stopped by the local Indian takeaway restaurant on the way to the train station to grab $7 indian food. While waiting for our train (turns out we weren’t late at all, rather early) we sat on the benches at the station eating butter chicken, lentils and garlic naan. Does it get any better than that? The Eagles played the Sydney Swans and lost by 1 goal. I would have been a little upset if the Eagles had a huge loss, but a game as close as that is pretty exciting.

The last couple of days in Australia I was feeling a little melancholy, meditating on the fact that I was home, but going back to the US – trying to swallow that. I stayed home Saturday night while all my friends went out so I could pack and have some thinking time. It had been a full on week and I was craving some head space. A few hours alone solved that problem. The next morning my friends all caught the bus and headed to work. I watched Reality Bites, called a taxi for 10:15am and then went to the airport. After going through security I sat and read for some time. Then looked out at the view which showcased Sydney city. I looked at that view for 15 minutes or so to keep it as a memory, hopefully a clear one so that when I’m missing home I can imagine myself in that view. I walked to Gate 9 and sat down, daydreaming. Next thing I know I hear my name over the PA system. My flight is leaving in 10 minutes!! I had to get my name checked off and quickly board the plane. Yikes. That would have been the world’s best yet lamest excuse for not boarding my flight and staying home.

And now, its day 2 of work, and I’m fine with that. It was a great holiday. So I’m fine with being back in routine. I’m not even feeling homesick – which is kind of nice. It only took 2 years.

Its 10am and that time of day. I'm drinking a cup of tea. It feels like my morning saviour.

Here's a photo of the AFL game we went to. As you can see we had fantastic seats!



Sydney Views





At the Hero of Waterloo. A night of Irish Music, dancing and drinking beer.



My friend Rowena and I at Shelly Beach. It was a glorious day.



As for the subject line: yesterday I visited a couple of good mates. We got talking about camping in the bush and the subject led itself to a billy. A billy is used to boil water or cook food over a campfire.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola”

Its 9:40am and I'm in the office. I can hardly breath in here its so stuffy. Ten minutes ago I walked to the local cafe to get a coffee. I'm really looking forward to being on vacation. Walking around in Sydney each day and taking in sights vs staring at my laptop screen and the red walls that surround me.

I fly out tonight. Am a little anxious about flying of course, and am not looking forward to the 15 hr plane flight! That aside I plan to catch up on some reading and watch the inflight moves and SLEEP. Here's hoping for that window seat.

I'm very excited to see my friends. I didn't fully feel that excitement until yesterday as I was packing my bags and buying last minute things for my trip. I had to send my husband to Costco to replace our suitcase, which we didn't realize is broken.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quirky habits

Today I had an epiphany about myself. I'm weird about food. Always have been. I don't like meat. I like plain foods and will only eat salad if it has minimal or no dressing on it. I love lentils cooked with garlic, salt, some spices and served with plain rice and veges. Parfait! Plain potatoe, grilled fish and plain salad - parfait! Maybe its because my Mum cooked like this. I don't know. We never ate super rich foods, and to this day I can't stomach anything fried, and nothing too rich.

I'm embarrassed to explain some of the weird things I do. I like icing on cake, but dislike cake - so I often eat the icing, leave the cake for my husband. I like american scones, but only if its crunchy on the outside. If the inside is soft, I'll ditch it and just eat the outside. I only ever eat the top of a muffin. I love the icing on a donut - but am not crazy about the donut itself. 9/10 times I'll just eat the top part. I love to pick nuts and chocolate out of cookies. I'm big on texture - and love anything crunchy. I love cold pizza - but dislike hot pizza as its soft and gewy. I love it when cheese is slightly burned and is crispy on my pasta. I love cashews that have been overly roasted. I can't get a taste for refried mexican beans, but am all over a grilled chicken taco.

See. Weird. And today I realized its all about texture.

I don't like admitting that I'm fussy. But truth is that if I eat creamy pasta, I'll get stomach pains. If I eat anything fried I'll feel unwell. I have a friend who feels sick when she eats veges. I couldn't understand it then, but as I take a look at my own weird eating habits - I guess I do understand it. I was allergic to a lot of foods as a kid. Everything gave me asthma. If I'm at a friend's house eating, thats another story - you go with the flow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The weather:)

The weather is beautiful here today. I'm going for a walk at lunchtime to drink the sun in. Yesterday and today I stepped outside into what felt like an oven. Today its meant to reach a high of 85 degrees F (29.5 degrees C). I love this weather. It'll get cooler tomorrow and the rest of the week. But I'm thankful for this warm weather. I love it. I could easily live in a country like Bali, or one of the islands. I love hot hot weather. One day I'd like to live up in Queensland, Australia to experience warm tropical weather day in, day out.

The weather in Australia is quite tropical. My hair would frizz and curl like nothing. (whereas its straighter here). I loved the damp heat. And the sun showers.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

“I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”

Its 8:22pm and I've just come home from an important event. Now I'm sitting alone and doing what any self respecting woman of 21 years would do while home alone: eat homemade vegetable soup and indulge in the level of comfort that only a pair of Target pajama's can offer. Thats right, it doesn't get any better, or classier than that.

Right about now a bunch of my friends are scattered between various restaurants such as Olive Garden and Macaroni grill. I feigned tiredness so I could skip those ghastly chain restaurants I dislike so much to have a little alone time, have a bath and a cup of tea. It'll be great, and so far my plan for the evening is working out nicely. Except for the tea. I got home, went straight to the fridge to check the milk and it smelt a little weird. I was mildly disappointed. Weird like its still ok, but it won't do for a good cup of tea. And I only drink "good cups of tea". That might sound a little snobby, but we all have our quirks - and one of mine is that I'm super picky about my tea. I'm sure I've discussed how I like it made in a previous post. While we're on quirks, another thing I'm weird about is feet. Always have been. If you have any questions about this quirk please email me or contact me directly. However please do not come to my house, knock loudly and demand an explanation. Most importantly, please never ask me for a foot massage.

Tonight I saw my fellow Aussie friend Anna for the first time in about a month. I felt a peculiar wave of emotion as I saw my friend and we smile and embraced. It was indeed lovely to have her back here. On the way home I was thinking about the close friendship we have forged over the last year. When Anna first moved here I'd hoped we'd get along and become friends. Its funny how something one day clicks and you suddenly have this bond or understanding that ties you together as friends. I remember the day we became friends. We were hanging out with our mate Tongers who is the funniest person I know. We were all cracking up over silly things. I remember driving back from the outlet mall, looking at Anna and thinking "my friend's are right. this girl is really cool, and importantly - really funny".

So anyway, I'm looking forward to that feeling when going home and seeing close friends. I usually get emotional on the 15 hour plane ride, cry as I'm descending into Sydney... knowing I'll be seeing our friends within the next hour. And then by the time I see them, the emotion has passed and its all excitement & cheering. A year seems so long. Yet when you see each other, its as though you were hanging out, teasing each other and being foolish just a day or two ago.

Word of warning: I'm starting to get excited about Australia. But its still 5 weeks away. So don't think I'm going anytime soon. But if you're a longtime reader, you'll know how it is.

Thats it. Time for my bath and then to read some more of Cloudstreet.

ps. When I meet people they often ask how old I am. I've decided to start saying I'm 21. Or Generation Y. After all, youth is fleeting and age is just a number which will forever keep on changing year after year. Although a fair question, I recently decided I'd rather people know who I am... instead of an outward mundane thing such as how old I am. A number does not describe who I am, my likes & dislikes, passions and feelings. End of thought.

Last night

Last night my husband and I bought a bicycle off Craigslist. Its a bike for my husband, for our anniversary - so we can go out bikeriding together. Bikeriding is one of my favourite things to do and I have been pestering (yes, pestering) husband to get one. So, we got home around 6pm and went for about a 30 minute bikeride around our neighborhood. We tackled some pretty steep hills and enjoyed some lovely scenery. My husband is an indoors person through & through - this was the first hint of exercise he has gotten in a while. I'm forever trying to drag him along for a walk on the beach or for a hike up in the mountains. Its just not his skit. So, I'm really glad this is something he likes doing and we can do together.

This is where is gets mildly interesting. I am in love with the new bike. It has 21 gears, is a comfortable 18" mountain bike (cruiser style). I never realised how uncomfortable my bmx, without gears bike was until this morning. I took the new bike for a test drive this morning and rode it to work. Was it a pleasant trip or what. So, now its the battle of the bikes. Bikeriding is my main method of transportation to & from work. So, I think that entitles me to a nice bike. So, I have to sneakily borrow it from time to time for a while until it becomes a regular thing and the bike is practically mine. Make sense? Any tips or ideas on how to do this over time would be appreciated. hehe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

...

I've had a rough week. In between working I've been visiting doctor's and the like. Having tests for this and that. I feel like I need a rest.

I'm heading back to Australia real soon for a visit and cannot wait to see my friends and be home, if only for 10 days.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You are sooo good looking!

Funny thing: Today I typing an email, and was putting in the email address about to type ".com" then I did a big sneeze. Instead of saying "excuse me!" I said ".com!"

My colleagues heard and sniggered. I had ".com" on my mind!

In my lunchbreak I rode home (a 10 minute bikeride) and washed my hair. I just really felt like standing under the hot shower and having the opportunity to hum away. It was really nice actually. I came back to work feeling nice and fresh.

On the way home, I passed this vacant lot which had dried out grass that had been recently cut. It reminded me of the smell of hay. It got me thinking about my Besta & Grandad's farm. When we were kids we used to help Grandad in the farm, or Besta and Grandad would take us for long walks around the paddocks, visiting with the farm animals. I loved the fresh flowers, trees and smells. It was a nice reminder today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A post mostly about coffee. (Again).

Today I realised I'm going home in 7 weeks. I feel really fortunate to be going home again so soon after my last trip. Although I'm comfortable here in the US of A, I still struggle with the culture a little here and miss home. I can't explain it. I know I probably harp on about this a fair bit in my blog - but its my blog and I'll cry if I want to..

This morning my colleague Ty did a Starbucks run. We're an office full of uber healthy 20 & 30 somethings. My boss doesn't drink coffee. We don't do Starbucks or donut runs. But this morning... it was needed. We were all feeling "the morning" a bit. So I got a non-fat decaf grande latte. (what a mouthful!). I almost forgot the joy of an espresso coffee! It was so good. I stopped going to Starbucks a while back. Mainly for $$$ reasons (I can't justify spending $1000 a year on coffee's and whatever snacks I get while at Starbucks). My caffeine intake = zilch - so there is no feasible reason to go to Starbucks. Its a habit I'm glad I've kicked. The last year has been good for me, and I feel like I'm finally doing some good nutrition and health wise. But, have to say, the non-fat/decaf/grande latte this morning was AMAZING. So good. And it felt like a real treat to have it. Even though it was decaf it gave me a slight buzz. (buzz as in my body responded to the tiny amount of caffeine found in decaf coffee) (vs drunken buzz).



I was telling Ty how our espresso in Australia is very good, and there is nothing like the small independent coffee shops that largely inhabit the streets of Sydney-town. I know when I go home in May, that despite all protestation, I will probably give into the caffeine factor. Then come back to the States and have to face withdrawals. Its worth it.

So. Australia. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to going. I have to remember to ask for a "skinny latte" instead of "nonfat latte", that we walk on the "footpath", not the "sidewalk"... you get the idea. As much as you fight it, you can't help but pick up sayings and ways of doing things when you have been living in a foreign country for 2 years. 2 years... wow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March comes in like a lion, what else? Still the snow never melts.

If someone can guess what lyrics this line is from - I'm impressed!

Its Spring!!! It seems so weird to me that Spring starts on March 20th. In Australia Spring starts on September 1st. I get so mixed up with Autumn and Spring here. With a lot of things actually. The other day I walked over to the wrong side of the car. I often do that still.

LLG recently wrote about her new Wayfarers. I'm loving Wayfarers right now, and have been seriously thinking about investing in some. Albeit a little pricey, they're a classic. Like a pair of Converse sneakers, or a khaki trenchcoat. Last night I was chatting with my mate Q and he was all "don't do it. They are so 2 years ago. They've been overdone, and its not cool to wear them anymore." He then went on to say how he was thinking of getting a pair, but his wife talked him out of it because the Sydney kids have been wearing them for years. So now I'm stumped and a little annoyed that Q made me aware of this fact. Where have I been all this time they have been fashionable? I'll tell you where I haven't been: University, LA, Sydney or New York. I have never noticed they became fashionable. I recently noticed them, and tried on a pair - and they were comfortable. I'm now at a crossroad on these sunnies. I really don't care what my mates think about them being overdone. Whatever. I can get over that. But inwardly... knowing they have been done a gazillion times too many kinda kills me. On the other hand, they're a staple and I love them. And I'm obviously not a fashion/trend follower - or I would have noticed they are in fashion. Right? They have been worn for decades. Why? Because of they're classy and stylish. Like Jim in a Tuxedo.

Grrr. Q and his awareness of the world.

What are your opinions?



ps. Its Friday. Sigh of relief:)

pps. I know I mentioned this already, but its Spring. And I love Spring.

ppps. I'm listening to Darren Hanlon at the moment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Phase

I'm thinking about getting off sugar. As of last week I started buying mostly organic veges. Eating non processed foods (for the most part) - I've had a few slip ups. But I haven't had any caffeine or soda (cool drink for us Aussies!) for almost a year now. My last slip up was in May, 2008 - Sydney. Sydney does the best coffee's ever. Big call, but if you had one, you'd agree with me. I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again - America is great for the pot of coffee. But an espresso or cappuccino - look no further than Australian cities.

So. The organic veges are going well. I'm buying organic oats, organic quinoa. Organic everything pretty much - except if something is ridiculously expensive - then we are using a vege wash. I'm trying to make most of my meals and am steering clear of processed foods. I'm going this route because I've been feeling more tired than I should for a 28 year old. I figure its because I am eating too many processed foods (aka too much crap!). The cooking is going well. I really dislike meat as it is. My dislike of meat has escalated over the years. At the moment I can't even eat chicken without my stomach squirming. Weird. So I'm still trying to up my protein intake for energy. So today I have an Amy's organic lentil soup for lunch. A fresh garden salad. Banana for the afternoon. I hope the lentil soup is good protein wise. Maybe I'll get some tofu for dinner tonight. Any protein suggestions? Or thoughts on this regimen?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The proud new owner of....



My mate Smithy is a fan of the Tiger Asics. I credit my love of them to Smithy. She spoke of their comfort and style like a true fan. I acknowledged the way she felt about Tiger Asics, but never went so far as to try on or buy a pair, and stray from my converse sneakers. Mainly because in Australia they are $$$$$ in price. Very expensive. 2 years later, living in America and they are a lot less expensive. So I bought a pair, and fell in love. The comfort is amazing. There is nothing comparable style wise. I'm a fan. Thanks Smith. Love your work. I'm even more thankful to be in a job where I can finally wear jeans, sneakers and hoody. Whenever I am discontent with my work, I remember that fact.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time changes everything dot com

On the weekend we turned the clocks forward. Making this morning very difficult to get up for work. I got to work and my boss says "are you ok? you look sick". No... just tired!!!

The weekend was really nice. Thanks for asking. One of my husband's closest friends flew over from Florida, with his lovely wife in tow. I met friend's wife Leah when they came over for our wedding - but of course, it was our wedding day, and I didn't get to know her too well. We get on like a house on fire. Funny in life how you often get along well with your friend's friends. There is often a common denominator that draws you together. Whether its sense of humour, the way you see life etc. Rarely have I ever, if at all, disliked my friend's friends.

Case in point. Two weekends ago I was "hangin" with aussie friend's mate Jorge. I don't know Jorge all that well. He is one of the best dressed men I have ever met. He is extremely artsy, intelligent and interesting. He has this air about him which I can't quite describe. We chatted a couple of weeks back, then on the weekend got into this great conversation. I realised it makes sense. He's very close friends with two of my closest buddies. Its only natural we'd have things in common.

There. convinced? :)

On the weekend we visited nice restaurants, hung out, played pool, ate some more with our Florida friends. My husband was so happy to see Jarrell. The two of them played lots of video games and joked around. I was glad to see them so happy.

Next weekend I plan on having a sleep in. Its Monday and I'm already looking forward to it. I'm thinking of having a "date day" with my husband. Visiting an art museum, getting to mosey around some cute neighborhoods, going out for a nice dinner. All the things we used to do when we were dating. I feel like we need that. Lately I have been feeling that "busy-ness" has been taking over my life and zapping me of inspiration. Aussie friend and I were chatting about this. She asked if I have been doing anything to encourage my creative side, like visiting art museums, reading new books, playing piano, writing. No. Not really. I have been "BUSY". I make sure to practice my piano every few days and get lost in it. It feels like a space only I can inhabit. But truth be told - I need to make time for the other things now. Life inevitably changes as you get older. Meals are to be cooked, a home is to be cleaned and kept nice. I have to remember to take some time out though. I was looking at some online courses - and have been thinking about taking a creative writing class.

Thoughts over for now. Back to work! (for me).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

''Never fear being vulgar, just boring.'' - Diana Vreeland.

Today is turning into "one of those days". I feel like being grumpy, going home, getting cosy on the couch and reading a book. Or watching the rest of "Lost in Translation", or an old movie.

In my lunch break I visited an antique store and found the cutest old vintage clock for no more than $5.99. So I skipped lunch and bought the clock. Makes sense right?

With increasing unemployment figures I believe it important to fuel the economy and engage in discretionary spending. I have a budget for clothes/"fun stuff" per month - $100. It sounds like a lot to some, not a lot to others - but having a budget helps me keep within it. The budget includes clothes/shoes/cd's/books etc.

I informed my husband of his blog name - he wasn't too thrilled about it. So nickname "Quite Californian" is going to be suspended until further notice, or until my husband decides on a new nickname. He looked offended when I informed him of his name. "Quite Californian? I'm not very californian at all!" - well buddy, you're more californian than I'll ever be. Take that!

So, back to what I was saying earlier about feeling a little mad today. This morning I was on the phone with a client who starts screaming at me when he finds out his account with us isn't terminated. "Sir, did you send in the signed Termination Agreement" "no... but thats not the point... its a verbal agreement!!!", screamed the screamer. Me: "Per your contract with us, it states you need a signed Terminate agreement to terminate with us, we informed you of this yesterday". More screaming/shouting from client "I'm taking this to my lawyers...!!!". Me: "ok, do that. but you still need to sign the termination agreement and fax it in. ok?". I was firm, but really polite and nice. I was close to telling him to call me back when he's feeling a little calmer, or just to lower his voice. I've dealt with people long enough to know when enough is enough. One of the things I love about getting older is being able to speak up (without sounding rude) and having the confidence, and self assuredness to do so. I've never been afraid of people, but have learnt that you can either let people walk over you, or exert your right as an equal human being and stand up for yourself, in the nicest way possible... of course.

Then next, after lunch... I'm walking... thinking... on my way back to work, thoughts of my afternoon and things I have to do after work racing through my head. This guy steps out of a pub and says "Pull your head up when you're walking!". I look at him and he says it again. Me: "I'll walk however I wish". And I keep walking. Pub guy: "promise me you'll do that". Me: no response to obviously intoxicated person. Keep walking, albeit feeling a little annoyed that said-slightly-intoxicated-stranger commented on my walk.

All in all I want to go home and veg, instead of working and visiting Costco after work.

Tomorrow is a new day:)

Monday, March 2, 2009

"I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful."

That’s a Marilyn Monroe quote on a picture I bought on the weekend and planted onto our wall. I was a solo unit this weekend, and have to say, it was pretty nice feeling like my old single self for 4 days! I mean, I missed my husband, cried when he left - then suddenly felt as though the world were my oyster for 4 days, knowing he’d be back again soon. 4 days was a good amount to be apart. When it’s a week, its too much. I start to get really upset.

So, I did some spring cleaning in the bedroom, which I like to do about every 6 months. I proceeded to empty all my drawers, put aside what I haven’t worn in a long time to donate to goodwill, throw away junk and then reorganize everything. It is so refreshing to know where everything is! I also did a Target and Bed Bath & Beyond trip for new coathangers, storage devices, more pictures and wall art etc. So, when all is said and done, I’ll take a pic to post on the blog. The problem is that our bedroom is also our storage room. When we moved in I loved the location, and it was all I cared about. Now, a little more experienced in having a home and I’m realizing cupboard space and storage are important. But location is still more important:) So, for now I’ve worked with what I have, as best as we can.

So while my husband, who, for the purpose of the blog from now on am going to call “Quite Californian” – was up in San Francisco for a comic convention, I planned my weekend away. It included a party, visiting with different friends, a 4 mile beach walk, spring cleaning and shopping (for clothes as well as homey things – Quite Californian has yet to find out about the clothing purchases.) Watch this space.

Saturday I went to my first baby shower, which was very cute and fun. And very American. My friend who had a baby boy wrote a poem and cried. She loves being a Mum (aka Mom).

Roger out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our House

Finally here are some photo's of our apartment and our recent IKEA purchases!

We replaced the corner bookshelf and put in a lamp which matches the hanging lamp.



I came across the painting above the piano a while back and fell in love with it. It gets mixed reactions. Some friends love it, some dislike it. I like it when a piece of artwork inspires different reactions.



The bookshelf next to the cabinet now match! And we put in the hanging lamp.



It took a while, but everything is in order, and looking more homey. We didn't want to get any "investment" pieces, but still be able to put touches of our personal taste within our home despite our limited budget and very limited space. Its crazy how quickly you accumulate things.

Tea Set courtesy of Miss R:)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another one bites the dust

We have another wedding to attend in a few weeks. I have been wearing dresses out of my closet. However, I'm thinking of buying something new for the up and coming wedding. These are the dresses I am thinking would suit. I want something young, fun and... flirty? Maybe not... :)

Friends and readers, please offer your opinions on these dresses. The problem is that I usually love a bit of vintage, glamorous granny chic. But this time around I want something more floaty and fun. Thank you in advance!!!




I'm thinking the blue style more, because its $100 cheaper. But I just don't know which colour as well... the turquoise or the rose pink...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

The weekend.

The weekend was a good one. Busy. But really really good. We slept in Saturday morning and enjoyed listening to the rain and being indoors while it was cold.

Our friends were married at 2:30pm. It was a wonderful wedding. The couple are such expressive, sincere people. It was one of those weddings that left you with a nice feeling, and one that we'll no doubt rave about for some time. When the bride was walking down the aisle she mouthed "I love you" to her fiance. The groom couldn't stop grinning and watching his bride throughout the ceremony. At the reception (fantastic food!) we danced to a lot of mexican pop, 80's music, salsa and also some swing dancing. I even got my husband up and dancing with me. The groom wore a lay, and the bride did a Hawaiian dance for him. The bride's family are of Mexican descent, and the groom's parents are from Hawaii. So it was a nice mix of cultures.

After the wedding, we went to the "Wes Anderson party" (at 10pm). There were a lot of people dressed from Life Aquatic and Royal Tenenbaums. There were a lot of good "margot's". One of my friend's looked just like Margot, it was pretty golden.

Here's a pic of my character, Max Fisher... (Rushmore).



I took a photo smiling. But Max Fisher isn't a smiley character, so decided to take another looking a little more sullen/annoyed.
They are my husband's pintuck trousers. He wore these... (before we got married). Now they are at the back of the closet. I have also realised pintuck trousers are not so flattering..

Sunday afternoon we did housework, and took a nap. Then last night went to dinner with our good friends. We both have our 2nd year wedding anniversaries around the same time (ours is in a couple of months), so decided to celebrate together. We went to a fusion restaurant with cuisines from around the world. There was a romantic ambience, fantastic food (I ordered the slow cooked moroccan lamb shank with dates, cinnamon and Israeli cous cous). We went all out on our wine and had an amazing bottle of La Crema pinot noir.

After dinner we went to see Andrew Bird live. I enjoyed the mix of violin, whistling and other effects he incorporated.

And now its Monday morning. I was late to work. Its a federal holiday here, which my husband gets off... and I don't. grrr.

Friday, February 13, 2009

“I don't have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation” - Whoopi

We all have our pet peeves. I have a few, but today I'm going to discuss just one of them.

People talking through their teeth, or with their mouth closed up. Arrggh.

This morning I was on the phone with a client, from the midwest, and I had the hardest time understanding him. I kept having to say "excuse me?" "can you repeat that?".

There is this other girl I know, and like. But I can't get past the way she talks. She's intelligent, sweet and nice. But when she talks, its like there is a plum in her mouth (not in the hoity toity way...) but as though her mouth is half closed. This bugs me beyond belief. It is important in my opinion to speak clearly and not talk like a ventriloquist figure. Maybe this comes across mean, but come on, everyone has something that annoys them, or that they can't get past. For me, this is a dealbreaker.

The weekend is set to be another busy one. Good busy. We have a wedding to go to tomorrow, a party after the wedding (I'm dressing up as Max Fisher from Rushmore - my current movie character obsession). Then Sunday going out to a nice restaurant and concert with two of our close friends who just celebrated their second wedding anniversary! Congrats to them! They're a cute couple. We got married around the same time, and although we're two very different couples, we have had parallel lives in some ways. Our husbands are best friends, have been since they were kids, and my Aussie friend Anna and I have become close friends. We love those guys, and its nice to see them so happy together. Warms the heart!

My friends getting married on the weekend are very cute also. They're both quirky and a little different - and are a perfect match for each other. They were just good friends for many years, then suddenly the husband-to-be started seeing his now fiancee in a different light. He said he was at a wedding (she was a bridesmaid) and they had a dance together. He thought she looked beautiful, and suddenly something changed about how he felt. I love their story, and although it took a long time to get together (and it was right under their noses), they know each other very well. They exchange marriage vows tomorrow. It will be a beautiful day, rain hail or shine.

Out for now.

ps. yesterday I went to a consignment store in my lunch break and found a pair of almost new Seven for All Mankind jeans for... $50! The store was having a 20% off sale, hence the great price. I was stoked. They fit perfectly. Usually their jeans retail around $170-$180. Bargain!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't slow down and look around, you might miss it"

I have been binge eating today. Why? Well. its one of those days you know. You name it... I ate it. I get like that about... once a month. Which is ok. Its the day I visit the bakery and buy a massive piece of cake... big chocolate chip cookie... etc. I ate a pack of M&M's earlier also. Crazy. At least I had a salad for lunch. Maybe I'll boil veges for dinner. Except I'm making pasta for my husband. So bets are on that I eat 2 servings of pasta. Oh, and then there was the In'n'Out burger I ate at midnight yesterday... watch this space. It sounds bad. I know it. But it isn't really. I'm pretty good for the other 30 days of the month... Details you all wanted to know? "You know it". (thats my new American expression).

So. I know what you're wondering... you're thinking all "what was she doing at In'n'Out at midnight?

The question isn't what WAS I doing there... but what WASN'T I doing there...
How many of you know what I'm referencing? Its my favourite way to flip a question. But I get so bummed out because it passes over people's heads most of the time. When, IMO its from one of the all time funniest movies ever made.

Speaking of which... my husband hasn't seen "Groundhog Day" - another absolute classic. I love that movie. It kills me. I'm wanting to watch a Bill Murray movie real bad. Its been a while, you know.

So. Back to my question about In'n'Out... last night some mates and I went to see a filming of the show "Big Bang Theory". The MC was horribly annoying. But the show was fantastic. We got in straight away this time and got to see the cast in person. I have developed quite the celebrity crush on Sheldon aka Jim Parsons since seeing him in person. He's a real character full of expression. He was super friendly to the audience and did weird, quirky things... like doing a star jump when they finished filming at about 11pm. I think in real life he and Penny are dating. They were all over each other. Drats.

At one point in the evening the MC called for all the foreigners to come up. There were about 10 of us. He asked us to each sing a song from our homeland. I sang...

G'day G'day... and how're ya going... (THAT song). It was all I could think of impromptu.

The annoying MC said I was very musical (!!) and actually let me sing the whole way through. I wonder if Jim Parsons heard that... ;)

After the filming we headed over to In'n'Out for burgers. It was kinda neat eating burgers at midnight in LA on a Tuesday. Except going to work sucked this morning. So tired.

Out.

ps. i want a pair of Superfine jeans real bad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What happened to you out there?... Everything.

Last night we visited with friends and had an absolute ball. We watched "Danny Deckchair" an aussie comedy that was hilarious. Although, I think I found it more hilarious than everyone else (of course). I recommend you watch the movie. Seriously funny. As are our friends. They find the small things in life funny, which I love.

Today is raining again, which I'm fine with. I'm thinking of going to the local cafe to do some reading.

On Friday I had my hair cut into a cute, very layered short do. At first I wasn't too sure about it. But as the compliments started rolling in, my confidence in the new "do" shot up. Fast forward to Monday at 1pm and I'm loving it.

I am going to take photo's of my apartment, I promise. I just didn't get time to tidy and clean on the weekend. We try to do it in the midweek so our weekends aren't a slave to housework. I get so bummed out if I work all week, do our usual routine then housework. You need to have time for fun, and have time at least over the weekend to enjoy some things you enjoy doing. So I need to engage in the ritual called housework after work tomorrow or Wednesday. Ah the joys of growing up and getting more responsible:)

So yesterday my friend and I hung out and grabbed a pint of guinness each at the local pub, went thrift store shopping and had our nails done. My husband and I played a boardgame Saturday afternoon and... that night had dinner with his family. All of them. Yikes. It was a mexican fiesta. I got to hear all the women rant on about their husbands. Needless to say I declined to enter into the conversation.

I don't have much else to report on for now. Its Monday. And I have a case of the Mondays. Time to go to the cafe and read a glossy mag.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Its good weather for ducks!

Its raining here today - shock horror! It feels awkward because I'm no longer used to rain! But its kind of nice as well. I have my brolly with me and went for a short walk at lunch. I was at the corner and bumped into a friend who works near me. I teased her that she looked like a celebrity. She was dressed incognito - not on purpose, but for wet weather purposes. When she was afar I kept looking at her thinking "is it Talia...?" - just like you would if a celebrity walked past and you didn't quite know if it was them or a lookalike. We joked around, then she went on her way. Then this guy gets to the corner, looks around and says to me "Its good weather for ducks"!!! How hilarious is that?! I lost it laughing and explained I haven't heard that expression in many years. A colleague in Australia used to say it all the time - at a firm I worked at in my early 20's. The gentlemen in his 50s/60s pretty much made my day.

Today I'm getting my hair cut. I'm currently growing out all the brown - and I want my natural colour back. I haven't seen it since I was in my teenage years. I was thinking... if I don't grow it out now, I could get to 35 and start getting grey hair, without having seen my real hair colour for many, many years. Weird thought I know. But its Friday.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Lots of splendid things planned which I'll blog about, if I don't get lazy.

I'm listening to the Smiths right now. "Please, please, please let me get what I want". Its a bit of a fave.

Roger out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Things I want.. and would buy... if I had... money...

I'm a bit in love with these pieces of clothing right now. Of course, like the rest of us, can't afford a whole lot just now. We just got wacked with an outrageous tax bill, which could buy a new car almost. Which is fine. If you pay it... means you must be earning it... (right?). It just means major cutting back on non-essentials! (how boring!)

I love the snap buttons on these skinny jeans! And I would love the floral dress. Alas, at almost US $200 - it will have to be admired from afar.





Honesty Award



I received this award a while ago from Daring to Dream. But couldn't think of 10 things at the time. Well, now I can. So here goes.

1. I love 1940’s movies and movie stars. In fact last night I ordered a book off Amazon which features photo’s of 1940’s movie stars. Can’t wait to get it! I love a bit of glamour! And that women used to “dress” dress.

2. Once I cut almost all of the top part of my thumb off – I still barely have feeling in it. It was pretty traumatic. Each year in June I think that “it was this many years ago…” (happened June 2006). I remember my dear friend S having a sleepover with me the night it happened. We slept on couches. Such a good friend eh:) I have a lot of scars and had many accidents (very clumsy!). But that was the worst.

3. I’m 28 and still haven’t found my professional “groove” or “niche”. I don’t know what I’m good at yet, and want to figure it out soon. 30 is approaching! Not knowing what I want to be or do professionally scares me a little. I’d like to have it more together. I’d like to work from home, but wouldn’t we all.

4. I’m not very emotional. I literally cry maybe 3 times a year. If something upsets me I can have some quiet time and sleep it off. When I do cry, it’s the ugly cry. I’m sensitive to other people and their feelings and feel for other people. But I’m pretty resilient and rarely, if ever get offended. I think I had a few hard knocks in my late teens that hardened me up in life a little. I mean, I do get emotional about things... but can deal with things calmly.

5. I'm pretty sentimental and have kept every card sent to me. As well as movie tickets, receipts from dinners we've had that have been fun. My email box goes back to June 2003.

6. I wear jeans to work with converse sneakers or asic tigers every day, however have about 30 pairs of high heels in my closet. And the number keeps growing.

7. People always think I'm shy/quiet when they first meet me. I think its the English reservedness coming through. The line I always get is "we thought you were so quiet!". Sorry guys.

8. I’m more Australian than I ever realized before moving to the States. I love vegemite and the peace and quiet of Australia.

9. I love a laugh and to joke around with my friends. One of the biggest joys in life.

10. Brit rock is my favourite type of music. Its right up there. I’m beginning to appreciate American country music. Never thought that would happen.

Here were the rules posted with this:-

List 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep.

Anyone who wants to do this - go for it :) I'm simply impressed you made it through the 10 things. After years of doing questionnaires I've run out of new things to write...! I'm sorry if it sucked.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life is too short to be quiet about it

Just now I’m at work and listening to BB Brunes – a French punk/rock band. I really enjoy French punk music. Its eerily quiet at work, which makes me nervous. But everything in life has a way of working itself out, right. My friend said she tried going for an interview at a small office – no fewer than 15 people showed up. Yikes.

I think I’m starting to feel more at home here in the States. This sounds weird, but I think it has something to do with that I like my “space” more. Redecorating has made me not feel so “temporary” here and gave me a bit of a new lease on life in America, as I know it. I have been meaning to take some photo’s of our apartment, which I’ll do soon. I am still figuring out my decorating style and have been saving images from articles and blogs that I like. When I look at them all together there is a theme or style coming out. I’d post pics up, but haven’t for fear of copyright. For now, my home doesn’t fully reflect my style – but more than it did previously. We’ve done what we can so far within the restraints of time, space (mostly space) and money (ok, money is a big one also). Last weekend we changed our lamps, which was well overdue! Before I had a Chinese lantern style lamp – which I always wanted before. I finally got one and decided I didn’t like it after all!

Even though I’m feeling more settled here in the US of A these days, I still long for things at home. And other things. I long to have a dog. I adore having pets, and am anxiously waiting it out to have one.

Another thing I’d like is a ping pong table. That sounds weird, I know. But I love to play ping pong, listen to some music. Maybe because we did that a lot when we were kids.

My subject line: About a year ago a friend commented on my wearing hats and bright clothes a lot – and she said she is not bold enough to wear such things. I told her the above. That life is too short to be quiet about it. I don’t know where it came from, it was a random. I was reminded last night when a friend noted my bright dress and said “how did you and your husband get together? He is very conservative, and you’re totally not conservative”. It made me laugh. I’m conservative in some ways.

On Sunday night we hung out with some friends who are in their late 30’s. They have a 13 year old autistic son. They don’t usually have people over, but wanted to hang with us – and figured it was easier at their house, where their son is comfortable in his surroundings. So we went over, ate sushi and had a lovely evening laughing away. We don’t known them that well, but wanted to make an effort to get to know them more. They don’t get out much because of their circumstances – yet are so young. The couple are even way cooler than I knew or expected. Totally hilarious! We were cracking up all evening. We were also talking about our interests, and I asked Stephanie – what hers are – “erm… I’m boring. I don’t have any interests”. Huh? What? This shocked me! I didn’t know how to respond – and tried to cover up my awkwardness. I firmly believe in having your unique interests and developing those in life. Finding out what you’re good at… what you enjoy in life. Interests and hobbies enrich your life. Later on, when husband and I were driving home I mentioned it – and that it surprised me, and I couldn’t imagine not having things I’m super passionate about and can talk about endlessly. He made the good point that maybe Stephanie’s attentions have been focused on her son for the last 13 years. Yes. Probably right. It made me think of how self sacrificing Stephanie is. Something to truly admire.

Long overdue update

Its Friday night and my husband and I were just at our friend’s house. Through the week I long for the weekend, and when it arrives I try to treasure every moment of it. Sometimes I get a little down when its all busy busy busy… and then you get a moment to breath and its “now what do I do”. You spend so much time wound up like a clock, the quiet time throws you.

Now its Tuesday morning, and I’m at work. I haven’t been feeling inspired to write lately. I go through spurts of writing. I’m like that in a lot of aspects of my life – going through phases, that don’t last long.

So back to the weekend. It ended up being full and delightful. Friday night we visited our good friends who cooked for us. We drank margarita’s and chatted the night away. Saturday afternoon we went to lunch with some friends, then in the afternoon my husband and i walked into our local village, hung out.. went to the bookstore, then walked home again by the beach. I made stirfry for dinner and we played a boardgame and watched “East of Eden”, which I’d never seen. James Dean’s character was a little weird in it. Sunday I decided I needed a sleep in, so slept in… did housework and then in the afternoon met up with a friend – we did a 23 mile bikeride! It felt fantastic to get the cobwebs out.

And now its back at work. I find myself daydreaming a lot at work right now, and feeling very tired. I have been vegetarian (although eating fish) for quite a while now. And I think its too much for my body. I’m not functioning well, and feeling tired & lethargic – not like me. So I’m introducing chicken back into my diet. I have been eating beans, lentils, eggs etc, but it seems its not enough protein for my body. Or not the kind of protein my body needs. Or maybe it just takes a while for your system to get used to it? One friend said it took him 4 months to feel good not eating meat. Yikes. So, I don’t eat red meat at all – but chicken I can do. I have always been weird about meat. Never eaten pork. Would spend all my time at the dinner table cutting off any trace of fat, or anything that resembled fat. I worry how to handle it when visiting friends – I don’t like to be too difficult “actually… I don’t eat meat”. Maybe for my close friends I’ll be honest about it, but grin & bear it when I don’t know someone too well, so as not to offend.

I have been eating a lot of cookies lately and carbs so am attempting to do the 3 day fruit flush – its so difficult! I want to detox my body, and get it prepped so I don’t have so many cravings for carbs. Right now I’m really craving cheerios and yoghurt!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Frenchman's Bay

Here are some shots I took of a beach my Mum and I went to one afternoon in Western Australia. Frenchman's Bay. We had a picnic and walked up and down the beach. Beautiful.






I used to go snorkelling at this beach a lot, and found the prettiest shells for craft work.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

C'est la vie

Disappointment. I received an email letting me know the bag isn't being made anymore! Nuts! But its a positive in regard to my yearly budget. Its the year of saving for me. I'm horrified by my spending habits and am making a big effort to cut back. I even returned a pair of jeans the other day. I already own almost 10 pairs of jeans that fit nicely. They might fit perfectly into my boots... but they aren't necessary.

I don't believe in New Year Resolutions. But at the beginning of the year I become suspiciously organised and write a list of things I want to do in the year. I often have ideas but never follow through on them. My husband and I have been talking a lot in regards to our goals, and along with budgeting we are closer to being able to achieve our goals. Those aside, there are little hobbies and interests I'd like to pursue. I know everyone is busy, but often I get so caught up with "busy-ness" that I don't get to actively pursue any personal hobbies and try something new. I mean, I do some things I love. Like bikeriding often, going to the beach most days, playing piano, reading books etc. (that sounds like a lot now I think about it) - but I'd like to try something new and different.

Here is my list. I'd like to do at least one of these things this year:-

Take up pilates
Take a sewing course
Learn french

"He who is brave is free".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bag Lady

My black one is looking old and dodgy, so I need a new one. Here's the two I'm thinking of... and I'm not sure which out of the two I prefer...





I know they look very similar. But I'm leaning towards the first.

Reader Request

Professional Synopsis. Everything is illuminuated. Spoiler Alert!!!

My friend Dr Sub wanted to know more about Everything is Illuminated. I don't know if that means more of my opinions on this brilliant movie, or a synopsis. I think I've made it pretty clear how much I enjoyed this movie, so here is the rundown.

J.S.Foer is the young, moody, quiet, quirky and intelligent writer. He collects things to “remember” or so he doesn’t “forget” – at the beginning of the movie you are given a glimpse of his room which has ziplock bags all over it with “memories” inside. He is an American of Jewish descent, and wants to know more about his family and heritage. He travels to Ukraine and meets up with Alex (who speaks poor English, but is the interpreter) and Alex’s grandpa. These two characters are not without their quirks also. One of my favourite lines (from Alex) “Many girls want to be carnal with me... because I'm such a premium dancer!”. Alex is confident, cocky, stylish (in his own 1990's way) and a confused young man. His grandpa a sad, grumpy old man.

Alex & Grandpa get paid to take Jonathan to Odessa. Along with them is Grandpa’s crazy dog. They go on this journey and learn about their history, heritage, the Grandpa revisits his youth and Alex & JS.Foer become good friends. Jonathan collects things along the way and puts them in plastic Ziploc bags. That is my brief and rather humble synopsis.



Might I also add that Elijah Wood is a premium actor :)