Canadian Down Under

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I hear that’s a four letter word in Canada right now, but you know how I like to stomp where angels fear to tread….

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. Today, I’m defending hockey, and here’s why:

Travel legend has it, the easiest way to insult a Canadian is to call them American, but I disagree. (For the record, I am not insulted if called American, but I will correct people if they call me American. Why? Not because I’m ashamed of anything/everything American, but because I’m proud to be Canadian. Just as I suspect many Americans would prefer not to be called Canadian – contrary to some news reports I’ve seen lately…)

The greatest insult to a Canadian? Being asked "so do you like/watch/play/(insert any verb you like here) ice hockey.

Newflash: hockey is played on ice. If a derivative of the game is played on any other type of surface, then the type of surface is denoted prior to the word hockey. For example, hockey played on a field surface becomes ‘field hockey’. Likewise, hockey played on tarmac surface or road becomes ‘road hockey’.

Hockey played on ice is called hockey. Not ice hockey. Just hockey.

All the way with Laura J

For the first time in my working career, I work in a company that has employed somebody with exactly the same name. Now, I realise that Laura and Ryan are fairly common names, but it still feels kind of weird… and something that the company IT people had trouble dealing with.

Originally they came up with the strangest email address for me here at work – some mutation of my first name followed by my last name and some numbers. It was so stupid I’ve managed to forget it already (usually company emails are first and last names so people can remember them). I’m now referred to by my first initials followed by my last name. Not perfect but it works. However, this didn’t solve the problem of the company address book…

No matter what your email address, the company on-line directory only uses first and last names. Now two Laura Ryan’s – while sounding like a wonderful thing – was just plain confusing – so as a method of differentiating between the two, I suggested adding my middle initial to my listing (seeing as my email address already used my initials) and leave the existing Laura listed, untouched.
Problem solved was also problem created. Problem created in the way of my very intelligent, but slightly eccentric boss. He started referring to me as ‘Laura J’ instead of just Laura. Which isn’t a problem in itself, until he decided that the sound of ‘Laura J’ sounded a lot like LBJ, and I quote, "wasn’t there a slogan in the States that went something along the lines of "All the way with LBJ"?"

Well, first off – I’m not American. But more importantly, having my boss going around singing "all the way with Laura J" in a male-dominated environment might potentially further my career, but not in a manner I’d like…..

For a bright guy, he can sometimes be really stupid.

Super Nanny

Watched it for the first time last night.


But then I always appreciate people who tell it like it is… But this woman one betters that – she’s nice as she does it! Who’da thought that was possible?

Damn. Now I’ve found another tv show I like. As if I needed another….

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

Did it?

Sorry, first I was sick, then Blogger got sick (wouldn't let me in...) and now I'm at work - so hopefully later tonight I'll be back to my regular posting routine.

Monday, March 28, 2005

I try. I really try.

Cleaned up some old papers a few days ago and came across a journal I started in January 2002. On the inside cover, I wrote:

(Editor's note: already this isn't looking good....)

1) Lose 20 lbs or be 1xx lbs whichever is first (Editor's note: an actual weight was entered but not sharing...)
2) No more smoking. Even socially.
3) Get a job in Australia - get serious about it.
4) Try to break addiction to chocolate.

The funniest part about the above - the reason I put in the option of losing 20 lbs or hitting a certain weight was because I didn't actually know how much I weighed - just that I knew I needed to lose a few pounds. Ten seemed too little so I put twenty. But then I started to worry maybe twenty was too much.... Anyway, you get the picture - not only am I neurotic about my weight, I'm also neurotic about making resolutions about it.

Before I subject you to some excerpts from my journal - I must say I should have added a resolution that I needed to keep my journal until my I achieved my resolutions. Not sure that would have stuck either, but what's that they say about good intentions?? At any rate, my journal keeping only lasted until the 28th of January. I think the following excerpts will help understand why. It begins:

January 1, 2002
Chocolate mousse dessert at Mom's
- No idea on weight. Too chicken to find out.

January 2, 2002
- Stole brownies from Mom's fridge.

January 3, 2002
- Still haven't stepped on a scale - but no chocolate today - but desperately craving some...

January 4, 2002
- No chocolate yet but it's early - only 7pm
- Ended up stealing some brownies from Mom's.
- Drank a Coke.
- Bad.

January 5 - Stole some chocolates from Laura
January 7 - Stole a couple of chocolates from Pam's desk
January 9 - Chocolate donut and mini Oreos
January 11 - Went to Maddy with Laura. WAY too much to drink.
January 12 - Threw up all day. See yesterday.
January 14 - Stole a few chocolates at work but not too bad.
January 16 - Stole some brownies from Mom's
January 19 - Ate Mars bar.
January 23 - Ate a donut. Ate a LOT at dinner but trying to drink water. (Editor's note - how does that help? I'm whacked...)

I continued in the same vein, until my last entry on January 29th, which went something like this:

January 29, 2002
Went for a run. Had mint Aero as reward. Never going to break addiction or lose weight at this rate. Certainly not going to get a job - since I haven't even tried!

Not only did I not achieve any of my objectives - I didn't even mention one of the Resolutions (#2) at all! (Though I can now report that I am officially a non-smoker - have been for a while - but it didn't happen in 2002). Not only did not smoking not happen in 2002, getting a job in Australia didn't happen that year either - it took until the beginning of 2004 to get that one nailed down. Hate to think how long it would have taken had I not 'gotten serious' about it back in 2002....

As for the weight issue and chocolate addiction? Well, seeing as never got on a scale to see how much I weighed (still haven't now that I come to think of it...) I don't think I achieved that goal. And the chocolate addiction? Not sure that a single day went by without me eating it.Well, it seems I only did eat chocolate if I was hungover, but I don't think drinking to excess every day is really a viable alternative... What's worse, not only did I not solve my chocolate problem, it seems I developed a theft problem along the way... Managed to not buy chocolate for the month, but then, who needs to when you can steal it??? Think I might have to start apologizing to some friends...

So why did I write about this? Well the age-old issue of me thinking I weigh too much and have an addiction to chocolate still haunts me. Daily in fact. But today, when I started to worry about it, I remembered my journal and decided that - although I tried, I really did try - I could no more give up chocolate than stop breathing. So today, as I waged the battle within, I decided just to resign myself to it.

Gotta tell you - that Heaven's double chocolate ice cream bar was SO good, I had two!!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

More Beaver Stories....

See below for the original beaver story, but the most inspirational story was one told at my house one Thanksgiving dinner....

I'm not the only sibling with international connections in my house - which can make some meals a little unusual....

One of my brothers still lives in Canada, but his international connection is his wife - she was born and raised in Spain but moved to Canada when she married my brother. I know that her assimilation into Canadian culture has been difficult at times, but my family - or more specifically my mother - has always done their (her) best to smooth the way - and if not make the difficulties or misunderstandings go away - at least explain them. Which brings me to my original story....

Seeing as Thanksgiving is all about the food (at least that's the way I see it - or more accurately, all about the pumpkin pie...) the conversation turned to food. My sister-in-law noted (and I tend to agree with her) that there doesn't seem to be any traditional Canadian meals - the Spanish have paella and some other foods that are identifiably Spanish, but there isn't really a specific meal that says 'Canadian'.

Unless, you're my mother.....

Now, a little background for you - my mom has lived in a major city for the last 50 years, but still considers her to be a 'northern' girl (country girl). Her childhood was spent in a northern Ontario town and her summers were spent by a lake with the extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc) and occasionally the local native tribe. One of my favourite stories she used to tell was that as a little girl she used to sit and stare in awe at the 100 year old tribal chief eat corn on the cob with no teeth - I can almost visualise her 6 year old self staring...

So, my mom, based on her childhood experiences and her ready nature to defend all things Canadian, offered some traditional Canadian dishes: deer, moose, maple syrup... But whether my mother thought my sister in law just wasn't buying what she was proposing - or maybe she just felt the need to have a big closer, she then blurted out:

"And once a year, at the traditional corn roast, we all eat beaver."

My brother nearly wet himself.

My mom didn't get it.

My brother refused to enlighten her.

My mother even went so far as to re-tell the story to her friend's kids in the hopes that they could explain what was so funny. Despite promises that they would - after the story - once they finished laughing - they wouldn't tell her either. In fact, her friend had to take her aside into another room to fill her in.... She was shocked. What makes that even funnier - she used to teach sex-ed in the schools - but then again, maybe that's just scary....

So it's a Canadian tradition to eat beaver eh? Well, maybe for half the population.....

The Great Canadian Beaver

Just finished watching a documentary about the cute little critters (funny how you have to move to Australia to see something about the beaver...)

They really are pretty cute. Some interesting facts I learned? They can chop down 400 trees in one year - and they're pretty hilarious while doing it. They stop to watch the trees fall - and once, it looked like the male almost dropped a tree on the female. She did not sound happy. Chatting away.... Actually - another interesting fact - those beavers chat, chat, chat all the time. Twittering non-stop. It'd drive you crazy if you lived with them 24/7.

Best part of the documentary? Watching the host introduce the documentary and try not to laugh as he says the word 'beaver'.

I can't move

1,000 steps has been my undoing. My calves, quads and butt are like blocks of cement. My sightseeing walk around the quaint town of Berry today was just that - a sight to see.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I get an extra hour of sleep tonight!

I realise you may not care - but it's very exciting for me.... Almost as good as finding $10 in the pocket of a pair of pants you haven't worn in a while.....

My Trip to the Blue Mountains

Day 2 of my four day weekend began bright and beautiful. Actually, that's a lie, because I believe it was pouring this morning, but I was still sleeping. By the time I crawled out of bed (11 am ) it was mostly sunny with big white fluffy clouds.

Since it was such a nice day, I had to go ahead with my original plans despite my 3 hour delay in starting... Drive up to the Blue Mountains and hike around the Three Sisters.

Now for those of you who don't know Australia very well, the Blue Mountains are about an hour/hour and a half west of Sydney and are called the 'Blue' Mountains because of the blue haze that often surrounds them - a result of the eucalyptus trees that are abundant in the area. (Man, with this kind of drivel, I should have been a tour guide or something....)

Now, I'm of two minds as to how my day went, so I've decided instead mixing my natural negativity in with the nice parts of the day, I'll recount my day in two separate stories: the glass is half-full story, and the glass is half empty story.

The Glass is Half Full - aka What a Beautiful Place!

The drive up was gorgeous - blue skies and white fluffy clouds, almost no traffic and mild temperatures. I got there in good time, stopped by the tourist office and the woman inside was extremely helpful. Showed me the best route to take, how long it would probably take me, suggestions on alternative return routes and wouldn't sell me a map because she told me I wouldn't need one - I should save my money for something else. How cute was she? And definitely an anomaly in a tourist booth....

Went to the Three Sister's lookout to start off then headed down the cliff - The Grand Staircase. 1,000 steps. I tried keeping track, but only got to 780 before reaching the bottom. Maybe the exertion affected my counting abilities..... All I know is that my legs were like jelly when I got to the bottom - took a half hour of walking funny to work out the kinks.

Walked the valley floor path. Really pretty - eucalyptus trees, ferns and even a waterfall. (Waterfalls are my favourite - which you would know if you've ever seen my trip photos - I have a zillion photos of waterfalls - none today though because, of course, I forgot my camera...)

Met lots of friendly people along the way - typical on hiking trails in and around Sydney. People often stop to ask how the track is, or say hello or sometimes just smile in greeting. It's like you're part of a common group because you're hiking the same paths. I didn't realise how much I missed that from my traveling days..

Arrived at Scenic World. Sorry - going to have to tell the glass is half empty story now...

The Glass is Half Empty - Tourist Hell aka Scenic World

First off - tourist office? People just buying crap to say they'd been there and climbed the stairs - but I gotta tell you - after having climbed down them myself, there's no way 90% of the people there had done much more than think about walking down the stairs....

Secondly - Three Sister's lookout? Tourist hell. People pushing and shoving so they can get a picture that looks like no one is there (really...) Made the first 50 stairs a little dangerous. Thank goodness, most people didn't travel below the lookout....

Lastly, Scenic World - aka Tourist Hell - need I say more? The info I had was that there was a ride up the Mountain at the other end of the valley floor. What I didn't realise was it was jampacked with tourists and the 'scenic' ride up was in a jam-packed gondola called 'Scenicscender'. Hideous. In line for 45 minutes, I should have just gone up the stairs - it would have taken the same amount of time... and the tourist throngs wouldn't have made me nearly freak with claustrophobia on the way up. This is just the kind of place I always made an effort to avoid when traveling. Ironic really that I get trapped in one as a local...

The Glass is Half Full - Part 2 - What a Wonderful Day

Made my way out of Scenic Hell (refuse to ever call it Scenic World again) and ambled along the Prince Henry path on my way back to Echo Point where I'd left my car. Lots of kookaburras, cockatoos and some parrots (or were they parakeets? not really sure). Sat for a while at the top of Katoomba Falls (indulged my love of waterfalls...). The cliff walk was a great way to end the day. Scenic views on the valley top - angled views of the Three Sisters and surrounding mountain tops. A great way to really see the blue haze settle over the valley as the sun went down.

To end the day? No parking ticket despite being two hours later than I meant to be and a relaxed drive home - singing to all my favourite CDs.

So wasn't really so negative after all, but its hard to stay that way when I can still smell the soothing scent of eucalyptus on my clothes as I recount the story... Could I ask for more? Chocolate perhaps, but I'll be good and go without for once....

Friday, March 25, 2005


It's the start of the long weekend and, despite the autumn weather, Manly Beach is just chockers. Truly, this place is a mecca for tourists. Now having started as a tourist here myself, I am hesitant to be too harsh or negative about the influx of tourists - however, I am finding myself quite relieved with the beginning of fall and the decrease in local traffic...

That being said, the holiday weekend has made Manly pretty busy again, but the cooler weather does seem to make the evenings quieter. So, late this afternoon - as the beach started to empty - I headed down to the ocean with my book and a cup of hot chocolate. The waves were awesome and the surfers were out in full force.

Now along the beach, the effects and influences of the tourists were visible all over. Some good, some bad.

I'll start with the bad: trash. Everywhere. All over the beach. Why do people think it's okay to leave their empty drink cups/pop cans/food wrappers/cigarette butts all along the beach? There are recycle bins and trash cans at the top of each staircase coming up from the beach. LOTS OF THEM. It's the worst thing about having the beach jampacked - when everyone leaves they their trash behind.

Despite that, I cleaned up a small place for myself and alternatively read my book, sipped my hot chocolate and/or watched the surfers wipe out. I love to spend that last hour before the sun goes down on the beach. And tonight, due to the cooler weather, I got to do it all rugged up in my favourite pair of jeans and hooded jacket.

It was on my way home that I got to see one of the best things about having tourists: sandcastles.

On weekends when there is heavy traffic there is a local artist who spends the entire day building a sandcastle. Six to eight hours on one massively huge sandcastle. It's truly exquisite - and tonight it reminded of the castles with turrets and spires that I seem to remember from the movie Aladdin. The most magical part of it all was being there in the early evening and all of the windows were lit up from the candles placed strategically inside. Really beautiful. I wish I had had my camera so I could show you.

Maybe next time - I'll just try to make sure to avoid getting any trash in my frame so as to not ruin the picture....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Storm

The waves off Coogee Beach - how cool are they?

How cool is this?

This is off the beach where I live. Apparently the only ones in the surf were ex-surfing champions (like Kelly Slater - the US champion pictured above) who were in town for a surfing competition.

Too bad the surfing competition was being held at Bell's Beach and not Manly (as shown above). Bell's Beach was flat as a pancake.... surfing comp was cancelled... Good thing seeing as most of the surfers stayed in Manly to surf the storm waves...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

World Water Day

Was looking for something on the net today so flipped over to Google to do a search and lo and behold, they had altered the Google so that some of letters looked like they were half full of water. Wondered what was up - I mean Google usually enhances their logo for special days like St. Patty's Day, Christmas etc., but I couldn't think of anything special about March 22nd (Google is based in the US - day behind us here...)

So, by moving my cursor over their logo Google - they wonderfully explained what it was about: World Water Day! Never heard of it before, but hey, a worthwhile cause - I mean water's important - as someone living in drought stricken Sydney should understand.

How wonderful is that on World Water Day, the aforementioned drought stricken Sydney was under a severe weather warning and was expecting up to 100mm of rain? (Well, it's wonderful from a water conservation standpoint - but not so wonderful while standing in the pouring rain, being whipped around by galeforce winds while waiting for a bus because the ferries have been cancelled due to the huge swell from the storm... but I digress..)

Too bad only 13mm of the 80mm of actual rainfall in Sydney actually fell in the city's reservoirs. Apparently city planners thought it would a good idea to put the city's dam/catchment in an area that gets very little rain. (As an aside - most Australians know this, and strangely, either laugh or are incredibly blase about it. Bizarre.)

Still, World Water Day is a great idea. Just don't ask an Australian - or God forbid a city planner - to organize it - I'm not sure they really get it....

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Janis Joplin, I ain't

And I'm not Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crown and/or Shania Twain either. Damn. Not even a distant relative to any of the above based on how I play guitar. Three lessons and still a beginner. How painful is that?

To make matters worse, I think my guitar teacher thinks I'm a complete moron. Fifteen years of piano (Conservatory - with theory mixed in) and he felt the need to go back to basics to explain what 'playing in the key of G major' meant. Never mind that he talked to me as though I was mentally challenged and only about 6 years old - to make matter worse, I still didn't understand - even when he talked real slow.

I had a substitute teacher last time and I liked him. And I swear it had nothing to do with him raving on about how great Canadians are.... My current teacher just came back from his 'road tour' and I think he's far too cool for me. I mean he dresses in a leather jacket and has a shaggy haircut whereas I wore a corduroy jacket and my hair - though long - was brushed. (Mind you, my jacket is hemp - does that make me a little more cool perhaps?)

I feel sooooo stupid. How is it that a 25 year old guy from a band intimidates me so much?

I think my dreams of becoming a rock star are going to stay just that: dreams. Good think I never tried out for American Idol considering I'm contemplating never going back to my 25 year rock wannabee guitar teacher...

Monday, March 21, 2005

I spent last night in the play pen

Sounds exciting and exotic, doesn't it? Well... it was fun - but probably not in the way you're thinking.... I went for a swim in the ocean last night and the waves were HUGE!! Haven't quite got the hang of body surfing - but I'm working on it. Living right next to Manly Beach - not only of the nicest beaches in Sydney, but also a great surf beach - I should have plenty of opportunity to practice. However, it can be a little rough for swimmers - except for - you guessed it - the playpen.

I love to go for a swim in the surf in the early evenings on the weekends and sometimes after work, if I get home in time. The only thing is, if you swim at those times - they are no lifeguards on the beach; but, there are usually other people swimming - so I figure, being a strong swimmer and all - its ok to go on my own. Still, although having done my best to reassure myself, I still had the little niggle of doubt as to whether it really is safe on my own.

That is, until I heard they called my corner of the beach the playpen. Now, no niggle of fear. IT'S ALL GOOD!

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Blogging is something I had never really heard of until a few months ago, but have now become an addict of sorts. Having always wanted to write - and started many projects - I never developed the discipline needed in order to finish any of those started projects. With blogging, it's pretty much a daily requirement - or at least I've made it that for myself. And, I have a couple of really good friends who continue to read daily and either comment online or send me emails to offer encouragement (all of which is greatly appreciated).

So, this daily journal of sorts has been pretty cathartic as I've been able to write through things. It started off on a more personal note while I was trying to cope with having been dumped, but its morphed into more of a journal about life as an expat in Australia. Sometimes its observations on how life in Australia is different to what I know, but sometimes trivial everyday life stuff creeps in.

As I've mentioned before, I made a conscious decision not to include write-ups on my Mom - mainly because even if I thought they were funny, I knew for sure she wouldn't. But in addition to that, my blog was only meant as a way for me to put my thoughts to paper (okay - virtual paper) and perhaps learn some writing discipline. Never did I intend for anything I wrote to be offensive or hurtful in any manner, but it seems that in letting the personal everyday creep in, I have managed that anyway.

For that I am sorry. I have written in general terms, but it seems a person whom I didn't think had my site address found it anyway. I've always believed that honesty is the best policy, and I still do, but I need to realise that a blog is more than a private journal as it is in the public domain. Although I don't mind sharing my thoughts, I need to be more aware of the consequences of sharing my thoughts so unfiltered.

Unfortunately, the person I have upset is unlikely to ever read my blog again, so will not know that I am sorry for hurting her feelings. 'Too little, too late" keeps ringing in my ears, but nevertheless, I believe I have learnt a lesson from it all. I don't think it will change what I write about - but I will be more aware of the potential consequences...

And then it all went horribly wrong...

I have to admit, yesterday was a really good day.

Saturday - first day of the weekend - got to sleep in a little. Naturally woke up at 7:30 am, but that was just too early for what I had planned as a lazy weekend morning. Actually managed to convince my brain that it wasn't time to wake up yet and slept until 10. Nice.

Woke up, had a cup of tea, made myself a pretty scrumptious omelet (getting pretty good at those - discovered that adding a few oregano leaves to my egg mixture - along with pepper, salt and some milk - adds that right amount of extra flavour...). Pretty relaxing.

Next, I headed off to my Pilates class. Was on time for a change - even a little early - and it didn't absolutely kill me. Still felt like I worked out, but was able to keep up with the instructor. So far, so good.

Spent the rest of the afternoon with some friends, hiking around Manly Dam (great thing to do - scary to believe I've lived here 18 months and prior to our hike - didn't know there was a Dam in Manly.... obviously need to get out more...). Beautiful autumn day - bright and sunny but not too hot.

The friends I hiked with, invited me out for dinner and drinks that night at the local pub. Figured, why not? A good meal followed by a few drinks. Everything was going swimmingly. Really, if it had all ended there, it would have classified as a Grade A day.

But it didn't stop there. A few more drinks, a new pub and some new people. And in particular, this nice Irish bloke. He caught my eye - and I seemed to have caught his. Spent the next couple of hours talking and then talking and flirting. You know how it goes: first its eye contact, then its standing closer, then its accidental touching (like arms brushing), then its intentional touching (like arm around the shoulders). It's the age old flirting ritual. All in good fun.

So, I was getting all the signals. Even my girlfriends were thinking something was going on. And it was - well, until I said something - and then it all went horribly wrong.

I can't remember exactly what it was - but it was flirty (okay - I do remember, but I don't feel like telling you - but believe me when I say it was relatively harmless - something along the lines of walking me home). Not too forward - it was all in context - but WHOA - you should have seen the reaction. It was almost like he suddenly thought I had an infectious disease. He literally backed away from me (I was sitting on a stool - I wasn't really going after him...). In his long ramble of rejection, he said things like "I don't date from this suburb" to what I think was an attempt at salvaging all the effort put into the evening with him saying "Well, I haven't had sex in four weeks, I'd be up for that." Now really - with an offer like that - could I really refuse?

Of course I could. I do have some self-respect. The funny thing is, I was having such a good day, I wasn't really looking for anything that evening. I was enjoying having had a full day and hanging with friends. It was fun flirting, but it wasn't like I was on the hunt or anything.

It was soooo awkward. Then he just up and left. Left all his friends behind too. So weird.

So, although it went horribly wrong in the end, I decided not to take it personally. I had had a good day and I was going to remember that.

But man.... sometimes I wish I had a video camera to record the behaviour in the pubs out here. You need to see it to believe it....

Friday, March 18, 2005

I figured it out!

I now have links!!!!

I know, I know - they're at the bottom of the page - but that's because I haven't quite yet figured out how to move everything around on the page yet. Give me time.... I'll get there.

I think I've acclimatized

Unfortunately I've managed to do that just as we're heading into winter.... Timing. I'm so good at timing. Not.

I was standing on the corner, waiting for the light to change, when I saw the temperature flashed up on one of those Reuter billboards on the building across the street: 29 degree Celsius. I paused and looked at what I was wearing: long pants and a long sleeved shirt. I wasn't hot at all. A Canadian in long pants and a long sleeved shirt in 29 degree weather and feeling 'comfortable'.

Personally? I never thought I'd see the day....

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Thanks to tomama

For a lot of reasons...

I just checked my visitor information - and although I visitors that seem to find my site from all over, a large number come from her blog becasue she's listed me as one of her daily reads. Although I'm unlikely to generate quite as many referrals, I thought I should return the favour - the problem is I'm not very good at building links on my site (okay - I can't do it at all) so until I figure it out, I'll just write down her website address....

But most importantly for suggesting that I do my own blog, for answering my ridiculous questions as I was setting it up (how hard can it be? not hard unles you're me it seems....) and for continuing to read and comment almost daily.


Training Day

Man, whoever organises the training program for new ferry drivers needs to re-visit their training procedures. It took over ten minutes for the ferry to dock this morning.

Even the deckhands were baffled.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I just joined my first club

I'm just not sure they know I've joined...

After the whole shin splint incident (I think I wrote ad nauseum about it earlier..), I decided I needed to buy new shoes so I wouldn't re-injure myself when, or if, I started running again, so I wouldn't have the same problem. Or more accurately, I figured if I spent the exorbitant amount of money on running shoes that apparently you need to pay to buy a decent pair of shoes in Australia, I actually would start running again...

Knowing myself quite well, I knew that I might start running but not keep it up, so while I was in the local niche running shop (all shops are 'niche' shops in the northern beaches pretty much...) I asked if there was a local running group. Apparently there was - a group called the Northside Running Group (how original for the northern beaches - obviously no marketers live here...) and based on advice from the guy in the store, the Wednesday night group would be best for some at my current running fitness level. (Which I should point out is below expert and above about to stroke out - but unfortunately is closer to the 'about to stroke out' level than expert.) But nevermind, the guy said the group welcomed all levels of runners.

Armed with that knowledge, I managed to put off going on a Wednesday because a) my shins hurt and/or b) I'd have to leave work early to get there on time and I had only just started a new job and/or c) anything else I could dream up that reasonable could justify my not going...

But today was D day for me. No more excuses: my legs were fine (had even been for a few short runs over the past couple of weeks) and my boss wasn't in so I could easily leave early.

Early it was. Out of the office by 4:50 (feels like you're playing hooky - its great!) and home in plenty of time to change my clothes, get my shoes on, go to the loo a million times, convince myself not to go and then convince myself to go.... amazingly I was ready early and I decided to head over to Manly Oval where the group meets before I managed to convince myself not to go again.

For you non-Aussies out there, an Oval is like a football/soccer field, but it's not rectangular - it's oval in shape (hence the name Oval. Duh.) But like the sports fields back home - its huge - and it has a bunch of entrances. Not really the best place too meet up with a bunch of strangers...

When I first got there, there was a a bunch of people playing cricket (at least I think it was cricket - I so haven't gotten into Aussie sports over here - quite unusual for me - but I'll work on that...), and there were a few burly guys running drills ( I was praying they weren't the running group - they looked like scary rugby players - which it ends up they were...). No running group that I could see, but since it was 6:15 on the dot, I thought maybe I should wait to see if anyone turned up.

Sitting on the edge of the field, (looking like a freak who stalks rugby players, I might add) I heard a noise behind me and as I turned I saw this guy enter the Oval: tall, lanky yet muscular and dressed in running clothes. Finally! A runner! As he walked past me to get onto the field, in a rather mousy voice (obviously I was feeling a little out of my element....) I asked him if he were part of the Northside Running Group - to which he replied '(*^&% *)&(*%*'. Since he obviously didn't speak English, I began to have doubts that he was in charge of a running group...

Feeling slightly discouraged and more than a little foolish, I began to think that maybe next week should be my first week. I started to plan my route home in my mind - I could go along the beachfront - perhaps do a little jog on my way back to the flat. Not quite what I had planned, but definitely better than nothing. Almost fully resigned to this - and in fact starting to move from my perch at the side of the oval - I noticed out of the corner of my eye (okay - straight across the field from me) a few skinny people starting to congregate. Yup, definitely had to be the running group. However, I still wasn't 100% sure it was the group - and seeing as I had already decided that next week was really a good week to join a running group, I decided to give it a miss. I mean I had expended enough effort hadn't I? Effort to leave work early, effort to get changed in time, effort to get to the field, effort to wait around and see if anyone showed - that really at this point - I had done quite enough - and possibly even done enough to justify chocolate on the way home...

But then the guilt hit. (Hard to believe I'm not Catholic with the way guilt works on me..) Guilt that I wasn't really trying hard enough to make a life here, to meet new people, to make new friends. Guilt that if I didn't at least try, it would be my own fault.

So, I sucked it up and walked around the oval to the group that was getting larger with every passing minute to find out if they were the running group.

They were. And dammit if I didn't have to run. Well, sort of.

Just as an aside - I think some of my friends would be surprised at how hard it was for me to walk over and introduce myself to a group of strangers. I don't know what it is or why it happens, but sometimes I get an attack of shyness that is almost paralyzing - but I stuck it out. Some girl named Kate spoke to me which was nice. Encouraged me - saying that she was always back of the pack - but that was pretty much the last I saw of her.

To say that I created a new back of the pack would be an understatement. About 5 minutes after we started, I started to fall behind, after 10 minutes I could no longer see them. Strangely enough, I didn't really mind. I finished my half hour run (okay - I could only do 28 minutes - but that's better than what I was doing on my own..)

I'll go again next week. See if anyone remembers me (unlikely). Wonder how long I can go meeting with them at the beginning and never finishing up with them until they realise. Will they think I 'm some crazy lady who 'pretends' to be part of a running group? or will they realise I'm just shit? Either way, it doesn't matter. For me it's good to be with a group that so much better than me because it makes me want to get better. With time, maybe I'll be able to keep up with some of them and maybe some of them will want to be my friend. (I really am laughing at the moment....) Doesn't matter - if I do manage to keep up with some of them, I'll be in such awsome shape I won't need friends. (Okay - I'm just getting delirious from the fatigue now...)

Can hardly wait to see what happens when I join a swim club...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It must be the accent

It's the only thing I can think of to explain the horrendous customer service in this country. Either that, or Australians just don't care if people treat them like shit.

I've had a run of bad luck lately in problems with services or products and unfortunately, have spent an inordinate amount of time calling service departments. You know, it's bad enough when things don't work or things don't get delivered or service is interrupted - but good customer service can go a long way to alleviating the frustrations your customers are experiencing. In my opinion, a job fixing customer service in this country could keep you employed for a lifetime - that's how bad I think the problem is.

Actually, just having someone be nice on the phone when you call would go a long way to tempering my frustration. Instead - all I get is attitude. Bad attitude. It completely pisses me off. Now, for the second time in as many months I have emailed a senior marketing director with my complaints. Last time, I did get a response, now I'm just waiting to see if I get one tomorrow...

I asked a friend of mine out here if he thought customer service was shitty in this country - and he answered that Australians are just more laid back. Maybe they are - but I can't imagine that even Australians would like to spoken to the way I've been spoken to of late. Must be the accent that gives them license to be awful.

Some of it is attitude - but a lot of it is the lack of empowerment companies give their Customer Service departments out here - or maybe it's just they need better training... Either way, in my humble opinion, a job fixing customer service in this country could keep you employed for a lifetime - that's how bad I think the problem is..

Since that's not going to happen any time soon - I'm guessing I'm going to have to develop an Australian accent. Wish me luck mate!

I think I'm getting old...

I just realised that it's less than two months until my birthday.

I know that's not really a big deal or anything, unless you knew what a fanatic I am about birthdays. Especially my own. ... I used to count the days to my birthday starting on January 1st. In fact, I used to go to school every day and the first thing I would say after 'Good Morning' (which granted, usually wasn't before 10 am (not the best morning person...)) was "Hey, guess what? It's ___ days to my birthday! And I used to say it with such enthusiasm! I'm sure it really annoyed people, but after a while it became a ritual of sorts and if I ever didn't mention it (which was rare) people would ask me "how many more days to your birthday today Laura?" And mostly it was friends just razzing me, but often, it was people I didn't know well, who actually seemed interested. Go figure.

Maybe it was the enthusiasm - because I love birthdays. I truly love birthdays - and it's not about the presents (though I still like to get them). I'm just not a big fan of holidays (especially Christmas - so obviously, it's not about the presents...), but birthdays hold a special place in my heart. And not just my own - I love the idea that a day can be all about a person - well, about their beginning.

So why did I forget this year? (And I really did forget..) Could it really be a sign that as the number increases, the enthusiasm decreases? I hope not.

So, I'll try to atone for my forgetfulness and begin today:

Hey guess what? It's 56 days to my birthday!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Seems my creative well has run dry this weekend..

So many potential reasons:
1. The early morning start Friday
2. Actually having to work last week
3. The day long seminar with Big Sisters - felt like I was back in school again...
4. The amount of alcohol consumed Saturday night (though that usually gets the creative juices flowing...)
5. The stifling heat on the beach today

Or maybe it's not so much that the creative juices have run dry, it's more that anytime I've been inside this weekend, I've fallen asleep. Hasn't seemed to matter what time of day it was either. Kind of surprising for a non-napper. And it wasn't just a little tired, it was that deep-down bone fatigue. The type where, once asleep, its almost impossible to wake up. You know the feeling where your eyelids feel like they weight 400 lbs. I kind of wonder if my flat had been on fire, if I would have been able to get up....

And now that it's almost midnight and I have to work tomorrow, I am - for the first time - wide awake.


I'm a little upset..

I broke my bracelet. Not just any bracelet either - a bracelet that my best friend gave me a couple of years ago when I left Canada. The bracelet I have worn every day since; over two years now. I have worn it through everything: white water canoeing, hang-gliding, hiking, kayaking, swimming, showering, sleeping - and other things I won't list here.


Friday, March 11, 2005

It's not my destiny... exercise today.

I did try.

I left work right at 5 to catch the early ferry so I could make it to the 50 metre pool before it closed, but the ferry was late. Despite that, I got my bathers (bathing suit for you Canadians..) on, got in my car and was on my way to the pool, calculating how much time I would have before shut down and how many lengths I could jam in. Figuring I'd have about 20 minutes - best case, I could squeeze in a full kilometre, or at the very least 750 metre. Not bad after a long day... But no, of all the times I've driven to the pool, I've never gotten lost or made a wrong turn. Until today.

So I gave up.

On the pool idea, that is.

Since I was basically dressed for swimming, I thought maybe the ocean would be a good second choice. Not a full scale workout, but at least I wouldn't be vegetating on my couch. Got to the beach but there was absolutely NO ONE in the water. Bizarre. I know it's starting to get cooler in the evenings these days, but still, it's only just the beginning of autumn... So, figured I'd go anyway. There were plenty of waves, but overall, the water didn't look too rough.

With my clothes off (bathing suit still on though..EASY!), and the waves lapping at my feet, I looked down at the water and realised why no one was swimming. Blue bottles. Nasty little jelly fish - they may be little, but they pack a hell of a sting.

I tried to get in a workout. I tried again and I tried again. All in vain. I think I was just not destined for exercise. However, on my home though, I discovered I was destined for a dark chocolate Toblerone.

Confession is good for the soul

I've had a relapse. It's been almost three months and my will power to abstain was at a weakpoint. (What is that about addiction? Quitting is hard on the 3's anniversaries - 3 days, 3 week, 3 months and 3 years....)

Slight change this time though - I went to an astrologer and tarot card reader, not just a clairvoyant. (Is that an improvement? Not sure...)

I don't know what it is, but I'm a sucker for those signs that read, "here only today, the reknowned 'fill-in name here' as featured in the 'fill-in whatever newspaper here'". I was walking through the mall, trying to decide what computer to buy when I saw the sign - and I thought to myself - hey, maybe this'll help me decide. Not the smartest way to make a big ticket purchase - but hey, I've never put a lot of logic into big ticket purchases...

So in I went and the guy was nothing like I expected; he was in his 50's, long gray hair in a ponytail, tall, skinny. On second thought, maybe that's exactly what I should have been expecting... Anyway, he told me nothing at all about my computer, instead focusing on me - who I am, what makes me who I am, etc - perfect: a half hour all about me! (Way cheaper than therapy...)

So what did he tell me? Seeing as I'm all about lists these days, the following are the highlights:
  • Although born in early May (Taurus) my moon (I think, I'm doing this from memory) is in Sagittarius - which is the polar opposite of Taurus pretty much. So, in essence, I'm at odds with myself - born under a sign of stability and materialism but ruled by a sign that embodies the essence of being a free spirit. No wonder life feels so tough sometimes... I'm a oxymoron!!! (Sometimes you don't even need the 'oxy' part to describe me.)
  • I worry too much about money and I need to let it go (that's like telling me to give up chocolate... great idea, but not gonna happen...)
  • I shouldn't work in a bank. I need to socialize (blogging probably isn't fulfilling that need within, but hey, at least its a creative outlet - not many of those in a bank...)
  • He suggested I buy a used van/bus and start my own tour company. Can you imagine? What - should I paint it brown and use a slogan like "Come see Australia with a Canadian beaver". Definitely more customers than painting it with a red Maple Leaf (FYI - the fastest way to annoy Australians is plastered anything and everything with a red Maple Leaf. Canadians think it's cool, but they're the only ones out here...)
  • The last guy in my life was a bad fit. He apparently stole my energy and ruined my chakras. I was told I'm all better now though - at which point I interjected in the monologue and said, that yeah, I was almost better - to which he responded, "You ARE over him." Alright already...
  • My knight in shining armour (no kidding, that's the card I pulled) was just around the corner. There are now no impediments to me being in a relationship so I just have to be patient, he's almost here. (Me patient? That's a laugh...)
  • And although the cards I pulled to decide if I should continue to live in Australia were kind of crap, the ones I pulled to decide if I should move home to Canada were even worse. So he said Australia was the better choice of two crummy options. Funnily enough - he did ask if I would consider living somewhere else.. Who says tarot card readers don't have a sense of humour?
  • Told me I stood out from the crowd. (Now that's what I was looking for. Affirmation that I'm special. God I'm needy!!)

All in all, everything he said was pretty positive so it was a really fun experience and made me feel good. I know the power of suggestion seems to have great effect on me (sometimes too much, I know), but when it works so that I stop moping about a guy - hey, bring on the suggestions!!

The love-in was fun, things are pretty good these days. I'll keep you updated if anything he says comes true... though I say it's unlikely I'm going to buy a used van..

I think I'm sick

I didn't get home from work until 9pm last night and was up and hopping in the shower to get read for work about 6 am this morning. I hesitantly would use the word 'eager' to describe how I felt about going to work....

Mind you, I still can't refrain from sarcastic, in-your-face jokes in meetings with senior people. (To date - it seems that bankers get the jokes a little more often than people in health insurance...) Not all is lost.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

American Idol Is...

  1. my favourite tv show (probably because I secretly hope that it's not too late for me to become a rock star...)
  2. better than Australian Idol (at least the judges are...)
  3. running about two weeks behind in Australia to North America screenings - so don't tell me anything I don't want to know...
  4. hearing impaired this year. Am I missing something or aren't some of those guys in the final 12 (of men - told you we're behind) just horrendous - yet Simon is raving about some of them
  5. getting a little long in the tooth - but hey - still love it...
  6. creatively draining - because now that I've finished watching it, I can think of nothing else to write about
  7. as made obvious by the statement above - another one of my addictions - although not so private...
  8. the only tv show I want to see live
  9. the only tv show where I actually have a crush on someone who's on it (I thought that kind of stuff ended once you were out of your teens?)
  10. cutting into my beauty sleep - Night all.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

McDonald's Commercials

They're running a new McDonald's advertising campaign out here - not sure what they're running back in Canada, but the one out here is that McDonald's crew can do anything. Various scenarios are:

1. A plane is going down, the pilot, co-pilot and everyone and anyone else is panicking - a crash is imminent - But wait! a McDonald's employee arrives (where from exactly? the seated passengers? dressed in his uniform?) and everyone relaxes because the McDonald's crew can save anyone.... (Yeah right, a 17 year-old teenager is more capable than a trained pilot... Whatever..)

2. An operating theatre - the patient flatlines - the doctor and nurses are all panicking - what should they do? Not to worry - a McDonald's employee has arrived (in uniform. Really....would anyone go anywhere in that uniform unless you were getting paid???) and everyone calms down.. Why? Well, because a McDonald's crew can handle any situation... (Again - yeah right - a 17 year old teenager is more capable than a trained pilot...)

Despite that - on the whole - not a bad premise really. It could work as long as you've never been inside a McDonald's restaurant. Most of those crews I've seen (and I've seen a few..) can barely figure out how to put on the fries - let alone do surgery or fly a plane... and especially not the one at the Wharf....


It's the perfect word. A guy I work with is pedantic.

He's a nice guy. Knowledgeable. Helpful. Yet he's pedantic - and it's making me mental.

You know, helpful isn't always good. Why - when you ask a specific question - why can't people give a specific answer? I know the back story is meant to be helpful, but by the time the person gets around to answering my question, I'm either no longer listening, I've forgotten what I've asked or I'm so confused by the deluge of words being directed at me that it all becomes gibberish.

Just answer the question!! Let me ask questions AFTER that if I think I need more info.

Why did I think working with Australian bankers would be different? Bankers are bankers no matter where you go....

Monday, March 07, 2005

Wish I had thought of this first. I coulda been a contender!!!!!

For all you Canadians out there...

Today was the coldest day of 2005 in Sydney. I think we may have dropped below 20 degrees Celcius.

Just thought I'd share.

I think I just got promoted...

But I'm not sure.... It's definitely more responsibility - but no new money. Kind of hard to ask for more cash after only 3 weeks on the job....

Never say never...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Are you really going to eat all of that?

I've been itching to go see Million Dollar Baby since I first heard about it, however, I've been having trouble trying to convince someone to go see it with me. So..... I took matters into my own hands Saturday night and went to see it on my own.

Now - some people might think going to see a movie by yourself is kind of...well... strange. Other adjectives that I've heard to describe it are: lonely, loserish or courageous. Some people might think people who do things alone are to be pitied; whereas me? I just don't see what the big fuss is about. I've traveled on my own so much that I have no problem going to a restaurant and eating alone, going to a movie - whatever. I'd rather go do something I wanted to do instead of staying home alone. I don't worry too much about whether it makes other people feel uncomfortable - but sometimes the reverse isn't true...

I got to the theatre plenty early. I hadn't eaten dinner - couple of reasons for that: didn't have any food at home and felt that not eating dinner could justify me pigging out at the movie theatre... I spent quite a bit of time looking over the snack bar - pondering what I should get. Finally I decided. Really behaved myself after promising myself no recriminations on a junk food evening: from the candy section I had scooped 10 peanut M&M's (gotta have some chocolate) and 10 jelly beans (couldn't resist). Just a sampling (showing some self-control) but mostly because I was saving room for the popcorn and drink. But even then, I only ordered smalls....except when I ordered, the girl behind the counter told me that for $1 less I could have the bigger size. Now - since I'm trying to be more fiscally responsible these days - I of course opted for the bigger size.

No other reason.

However, I should have looked at how big the bigger size was first.. They should have called it the 'humungous' size. Massive. In fact, I could barely hold, let alone carry to my seat, the popcorn bag and soft drink cup.

Arriving outside Theatre 3 - I had to wait while the theatre people cleaned up after the earlier movie before we were let in. There was an ottoman nearby, so I perched on the edge, putting my soft drink on the floor and started nibbling on the popcorn - basically eating the top layer so it didn't spill all over the floor by accident. As I was sitting there by myself, a bunch of other people starting milling around waiting to get into the theatre as well. More specifically, it was a bunch of other couples. Normally I wouldn't have noticed at all, but for some reason I was feeling a little conspicuous. So, I quietly - and what I was hoping was nonchalantly - munched on my popcorn.

Suddenly, I heard this voice, "Are you really going to eat all of that?" Keeping to myself, I just stayed in my little dream world, not really paying attention to the various conversations around me. Till I heard, "That'll make you sick if you eat all that." At that point, the white noise of other people's conversations went dead silent, and I had the most uncomfortable feeling people were looking at me. Coming out of my fugue state, I looked around and realized to my utmost embarrassment that I was being singled out by this woman beside me. I stuttered an explanation along the lines of saving money kind of thing (which was lame and feeble even to my ears) and she asked again, "Are you really going to eat all of that." To which I simply replied, "No, I don't think so" as the red of humiliation started to creep across my cheeks.

Now, not only had I been singled out, stared and pointed at as a loner/loser who goes to movies movies by herself - I was also a pig loner/loser who goes to movies by herself. To be honest, I was a little shocked that someone had even spoken to me that I didn't quite realize I had been insulted. I believe the woman's boyfriend was either embarrassed by his date's outburst or felt sorry for me - I don't know which - but he shushed her after that - so at least I didn't have to fend off any further attacks.

As I sat there in the moments afterward, a multitude of thoughts ran through my head. Indignation started to take hold and I started to think - "Screw it - I'll eat the whole bag just to show her!" But then a moment later I realized that wouldn't happen - to be honest, I can't even make it through a small bag of popcorn without feeling sick. The truth is, the woman kind of took the enjoyment out of my junk food evening. I did eat some more popcorn - but somehow it no longer tasted the same. And - for the first time in ages - I really felt awkward being out on my own. I don't think she meant to be mean - in fact, I don't really think she put any thought into what she said. But in essence, that's what she was: thoughtless.

Australians are amazing creatures; really, outgoing and gregarious on one hand, but completely lacking in tact and social graces on another. Can't imaging that ever happening to me at a theatre in Canada... That being said, it was worth it - the movie was fab! Loved it!!

On a final note, I still enjoy my Coke (love the stuff), my 10 M&M's and my jelly beans, but I think it'll be a while before I have popcorn again. It was never a favourite of mine to begin with, and it's now lost some of its flavour....

Friday, March 04, 2005

Am I a loser if

I'm single, have enough money to go out and do something, yet on a Friday night at 9:30pm I'm going to bed. Alone.

Does that mean I'm a loser?

The Amazing Race

I don't know if we're way behind North America in our viewing of the show - but I gotta say - there is one relationship that is completely abusive. The guy yells and screams at the girlfriend, publicly berates her and last week, he even shoved her because she was going too slow - COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that she was going slow because she was carrying two bags: her own and HIS!

What a loser. I think he should get kicked out of the game/show just for his behaviour. Shouldn't a line be drawn somewhere so that - even if he can't figure out his abusive behaviour is bordering on assault - (which is criminal..) - the show's producers would recognize him for what he is? I mean, letting the filming continue is only condoning the behaviour? isn't it?

And it's not just me who thinks he's stepped over the line - last week, a taxi driver kicked him out of the cab because he was so rude and aggressive.

Maybe the show's keeping them in because it's good for ratings - but I find it totally repugnant. I don't do this readily, but I actually turned the tv off.

Strangely Compelling

I know I said it was boring - but I'm back once again at the lunchtime chess game. And, you know, although there are some new players, the main cast of characters are still here.

I'm thinking the other day's hissy fit is probably part of a long standing feud....

It's amazing how upset grown men can get over a game!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


That's why I don't write stories about my Mom, even though - trust me on this one - they'd be funny.

See, my Mom doesn't have the sense of humour she thinks she does - especially if the joke is on her. So I can't write the stories down - because they could be used as evidence against me.

But - having said that - I'd still be happy to recount them verbally.

I'll even use my Mom voice where appropriate....

I always wanted to be a rock star...

...but just never got around to doing anything about it. But now, having started my guitar lessons, I realise it's not all the flash and glamour I thought it'd be. You only have to see my newly clipped fingernails on my left hand to understand....

Nectar of the Gods

Coke (Capital "C" Coke that is - as in Coca-Cola).

I've tried giving up. Now I've just decided to give up giving up. I think I'll be much more successful at that.

Why is Coke so wonderful? Well despite its many additives, sugars and artificial colourings - it's just plain yummy.

It tastes good. It make me feel good. If I'm feeling a little off-kilter , a couple of sips is enough to make me feel right as rain. Rumour has it that it's the potassium that helps settle an upset stomach. I don't know if that's true, but it is a fact that if you can get a can of the "Black Doctor" into you - it'll cure your hangover. Hasn't failed me yet! (Though that might be more due to me not drinking it until I feel semi-human. However, once I do, I move very quickly from semi-human to human!)

Okay, okay, I know its full of caffeine and sugar, it'll make me fat and/or make my skin erupt in unsightly blemishes - but I'm okay with that. (That's really saying something if you only knew how obsessed I am about my weight and skin.)

But today, as I was ordering my lunch, I was thinking I could either have a Coke, a water, a flavoured mineral water, or a juice. Then I thought: I don't like juice and I'm not in the mood for water. I could have a mineral water but it's just as bad for me as a Coke so why not have what I want?

So, that's how it came about. In the range of possible additions I could have, being addicted to Coke (the soft drink) is so far down the list of deadly/illegal/immoral/unhealthy things I could do, that I'm not going to sweat it anymore.

Ahhh - how sweet it is to enjoy the nectar of the Gods - Guilt free!

To Die For

I've been reading recently that S'Mores are the best thing since slice bread ( - and although I tend to defer to TO Mama in general (having worked with her - I have discovered she's invariably right about most things ) in this one instance, I'm going to have to disagree...

Lunch today: Food hall at David Jones (Sydney, Australia). Chocolate covered bananas. One half milk chocolate, one half dark chocolate. Borderline orgasmic.

To TO Mama - that thought about moving to Australia? It'd be worth it just for the chocolate covered bananas....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lunch in the Park

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Got my Starbuck's mango citrus frappe, my pen, my paper, my CD player. I'm all set.

As I entered the park I realised I wasn't the only one with the idea....

Heading for some shade, I noticed a fairly large group standing around and realised they were playing chess. Not on little chess boards on tables - and not quite life size boards - but using the patio stones as squares with pieces 2-3 feet high.

Okay - I've been watching for a while - and although I don't play - (My brothers wouldn't let me play when I was little for a variety of reasons like: I was a girl, or I was too stupid etc. But really, it was because they were trying to get rid of the tag along - and I've refused to play ever since...) - I still know the basic rules. Yet, I don't get what just happened. They just wound up the game - but it didn't look to me like anybody had won... Hmmm, maybe it's a time thing, because a new game just started with new people..

You know what I just realised? It's not because of my brothers I don't play, I don't play because it's boring!!

Actually - hold that thought - watching the last guy have a suck attack because he lost was quite entertaining! Maybe I won't have to buy the latest gossip mag to get me through lunch after all....