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 :)

I want to ride my bicycle... I want to ride my bike

This morning was delightful. I woke up and it was a sunny morning here in California. So, I decided to ride my bike to work. I love to get a little exercise in before work, before I sit at a cubicle for the next 4 hours until my lunch break. I'm an outdoors person through & through yet have always had desk jobs. Go figure. Some exercise before work breaks it up a bit and makes the morning seem worthwhile. I did another one of my favourite things - grabbing a decaf coffee half an hour after I arrived on the job. I've always loved the coffee run. And I'm loving American coffee. With milk of course. I'm not that American. America fails in the making of a good cappuccino though. I'm reminded of this every time I go home to Oz. I guess each country has their specialty. In Australia you can get one of the best cappuccino's you'll ever taste. Strong, dark and handsome;)Its a big call I know. America - filtered coffee with a kick. England - you won't get a better cuppa tea than in the UK. There is this british shop around the corner from my work, and I always go there for PG Tips teabags. PG Tips is a good strong tea.

My husband and I watched "Everything is Illuminated". I love how J.S.Foer incorporates quirky key sayings into his novels. I'd love to say everything is "premium" - just like Alex in Everything is Illuminated. And "I have heavy boots" when I'm feeling down, as did Oskar (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). I plan on dropping them from time to time and getting a kick out of people looking at me dazed and confused.

Last night we visited with our friends who have so much quirk you can poke a stick at it. We laughed so hard I thought the landlord would kick us out. We watched The Office & 30 Rock. I have to say - In my humble opinion, the American version of the Office has way surpassed that of the British version. I watched a couple episodes of the british version, and found it crude, vulgar and felt like it wasn't really going anywhere. I enjoy how the American version seems to be be getting funnier as time goes on. And applaud the writers in the way they have developed the characters. What I'm wondering is when Pam & Jim will set a date?!

The said coats below ebayed for astronomical prices. One of them for almost $250. Sheeeeesh!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Here are two faux fur coats I was hoping to win on ebay. The first is now $90+ and the second was at $26 this morning and just skyrocketed up to $81. I will have to admire from afar. But they are so beautiful and glamorous.

She was Mine Too...

Cloudstreet is the name of the book I'm reading. I tried reading it back in... about 2002. My friend gave me a copy of it and I got half way through, without really appreciating the book. Years later, and the second time around - I'm enjoying it a lot. I love all the australian-isms in the book.

I'm at work right now. And its a nice day so far. Today I woke up without a sore throat. I'm so happy to be feeling "normal" again! Its a beautiful day here, so am planning on going for a run down at the beach and a bikeride after work.

A few months back we saw an Irish duo (from the movie "Once") live. They were very good. What I enjoyed more was the backup band: Wine & Iron. I'm listening to them right now...

I don't think I mentioned, I was very excited to eat curry in Australia. But Perth indian food disappointed me in a great way. So much so, I'm feeling a bit "over" indian food. I like my own curry's. I'm looking forward to going to Sydney soon (in May!) and going to my favourite Indian restaurants. I'm actually making a Korma tonight with lentils!

Ever seen "Rushmore"? I watched it for the first time the other night and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great movie. In a few weeks I'm going to a party with the theme "Wes Anderson characters". Interesting eh?! So, I'm going as Max, from Rushmore. I bought some black glasses and a red beret from ebay yesterday.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm in a blogging rut... I know it! Mainly because I have been sick for 2 weeks now. This flue hit me for a sixer, and after 13 days I still have a sore throat. I feel it getting slightly better. Today is the first day in 2 weeks I haven't had headache pills.

I heard anti biotics can give women yeast infections?! Yow! So, although I have some (visited my dr on Monday!) - I'm holding out.

Last night my husband, friends and I went up to LA to see "Big Ban Theory" - alas didn't get in, so ventured into Hollywood. I love LA. I mean, its seedy in parts. But so full of life and inspiration in other parts (aka the "nice" parts) I thoroughly enjoy my visits up there. While I love to live so close to the beach, I miss the eclectic and artsy feel city's have to offer.

We went to this old restaurant/bar with autographed photo's of famous people on the walls. The restaurant was lovely with a nice feel to it. The name of the bar is "The Dresden Room". Where Swingers was filmed:)

Later on, after walking the streets and visiting the bookshops that were still open, we went back and had a drink at the bar while listening to bluesy, romantic tunes by the singer, bass player and pianist.

It was a nice way to spend our Tuesday night. It was good to do something different.

My husband had dressed like Sheldon. So everywhere we hung out in Hollywood last night... my husband looked like Sheldon... :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in the game?

G'day friends. I haven't been blogging since being back as I've had a bug and now the flue! I google'd the differences between the common cold and flue, its the flue for sure. My guess is I caught it on the plane.

Australia was wonderful! I don't know where to start! Firstly the weather. My flight to Perth went really well - quickly. I sat between two young guys named Andrew, the 3 of us chatted most of the way. One of the Andrew's is originally from Melbourne, but studying to be a professor in Philadelphia. The other Andrew (who wasn't full of himself like the first Andrew!) lives in Orange County. Super nice (and good looking!).

I got into Perth and firstly noticed how bright it is there. It might sound weird, but the sun seems to shine brighter on the West Coast of Australia than anywhere else I've ever been. The sun also scorches you more than anywhere else. 10 minutes and you feel your arm burning. No kidding. Its one of the worst places for skin cancer. Australia gets a lot of UV radiation. Needless to say I lathered myself in sunscreen and hat the whole trip. And managed to not get burnt.

I got picked up from the airport by my mates Greg & Rich and we just hung out while I dealt with jetlag. My aunt & uncle & cousins picked me up the next day and we made the trip down to the south west. 4 hours in the car. Sausage rolls along the way with tomatoe sauce. So good!!! I love WA bakeries!

I spent lots of time at the beach of course. And spent a lot of time with friends and my Mum who was super excited to have me there. I got to see friends I haven't seen in many years. If anyone reading this ever gets to go to the beaches in the south west of WA - you're in for a treat. They are up there in top beaches of the world. The sand is soft and powdery texture, white. And each time I go back I feel surprised at how crystal clear the water is. WA is so untouched.

The wedding went off brilliantly! It was such a country WA wedding!!! Very laid back. After the ceremony we went to a place called "Strawberry Hill Farm". We did barn dancing (Waves of Bondi) and everyone brought a rug, foldup chairs and chit chatted and ate scones with cream & jam. I loved it! Such a lovely afternoon. The sun was shining and it wasn't too hot. Everyone was so happy for the new couple.

After the afternoon tea I really needed a "drink" drink. Ie glass of wine. I had been catching up with people all day and was feeling really overwhelmed. So headed to "The Albany" for a glass of wine and wrote a card to my cousin & his new wife.

That evening the family got together with the new couple and we had a dinner and drinks. There were speeches and the like. Such a lovely time was had by all.

On the way home I drove on the wrong side of the road! Aaaghh! Thankfully there is hardly any traffic on the roads in WA so I quickly corrected myself when seeing a car coming towards me!

Now I'm back in the States and all confused when driving. I have to remember "right side... right side". I keep flicking on my wipers instead of indicator. I'm good at driving different sides of the roads (whichever applicable to said country!) but if I'm tired need to remember which side exactly. Its hard when there are no other cars around!

So now I'm home and trying to get better. My husband was all "you're so lucky... you get to stay home". Whatever. Staying home is fun when you feel good. I'd rather be feeling good and able to work and go for a run at lunch.

On the weekend I dragged my husband to Ikea. We live in a 1 bedroom apartment that is pretty small. If we're living here for a couple more years, I need things to be more organized. My living room has been driving me crazy. I feel like no matter how much I clean and tidy... it still never really looks tidy. So we bought better shelving, cute boxes and we'll be sorting it out. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

Off to bed. I'll post some photo's soon. Mum has them in the mail...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Back in the game

I'm back from the land of Oz. What a trip. I don't even know where to begin. How about firstly with the wedding. It went smoothly and without a hitch. (except yes, they did get hitched, pardon the unintended pun).

There was barn dancing (waves of Bondi), cups of tea and scones with cream & jam - and lots of good company. I got to see friends I haven't seen in years and family members I love.

Below is a picture of Mum & I. We stayed together for a night in Perth, like old times.