Canadian Down Under

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Bargain Shopping

I am the worst bargain shopper. I have friends that manage to get the sweetest deals on stuff - whereas I end up paying full price for something that doesn't look half as good as what they have...

Until today.

Unexpectedly, I ended up with a free afternoon and I decided that while I had the opportunity I should do a couple of things I've been putting off, like:

1. looking for a new flat
2. buying a much needed bookcase

So while procrastinating over lunch, I flipped through the Manly Daily classifieds and saw a couple of potential flats and a couple of bookcases for sale. I managed to dally long enough so that all the real estate agents were closed - therefore making flat hunting not an option today - but I did manage to get one woman who had a bookcase for sale.

Although I pondered putting off going to see it until Sunday afternoon - when I'd likely come up with something far more interesting to do, like paint my nails - I bit the bullet and set up a time for this afternoon.

It was about a 20 minute drive up the coast (thank goodness for
my shiny new car - it really has made life on the Northern Beaches far easier...) to her place. When I first saw the bookcase, I thought 'nah' - it looked like some amateur had put it together. Then the woman told me her friend had built it for her (so some amateur had put it together..) Then she told me how much she wanted for it: $30.

Didn't look so bad after all.

Only problem? Getting it to fit it in my car. Luckily it was two separate pieces, but unfortunately, only one fit in my car at a time. So I ended up having to make two trips. The lady was so nice - she even let me drive away the first time without paying her (didn't have the right change) trusting that I would come back for the second piece, with the money. How nice are people here? I guess I must have an honest face...

Anyway - even with the cost of gas for all those trips - it was still a pretty sweet deal (considering it would cost me over $200 to buy a bookshelf half that size in a store).

And the good karma just kept flowing - I luckily kept running into people traipsing to and from the car who offered to carry the bookcase to my door for me. How nice was that? Things like that usually never happen to me - so I've managed to become quite self-sufficient - but I certainly wasn't refusing the offers of help.

Once in my apartment (sorry - flat - I keep switching back to speaking 'Canadian') I put the pieces together - kind of expecting it to look really crap - but you know what? It looks kinda good! In fact, my place is beginning to look downright homey now that I no longer have unpacked cardboard boxes in my living room..

Who'da thought that I'd ever be a good bargain shopper? The place almost looks comfy enough that I won't want to move.... Scratch off flat hunting on the 'to-do' list,

Seems procrastinating can have it rewards....

Friday, April 29, 2005

Why do I live here?

I get asked that question quite a lot - and its never easy to answer. You know, before I even got here, a lot of people asked me why I was leaving. There was no one specific answer, but a bunch of reasons that combined seemed to make sense.

I had always loved Australia. Not a good enough reason by itself, but at the time I decided to go, I had decided it was time to move away from my much loved home in TO anyway. I'd been there all my life and truthfully, I was a little bored. All my friends had gotten married and most had kids and although I didn't want to leave my friends, our lives had become so different that we didn't really spend much time together anymore - through circumstance rather than design.... but all the same, the reality was I was having to build a new life without them as a central part of it.

So on my own, bored and starting fresh - I thought - why not start fresh somewhere else?

Once again, I'm not doing a very good job of explaining why I moved here - and when asked by a cousin of mine why I was going (I mean most people move for career or their significant others - and since I had no significant other and could give a shit about my career, my answers never really seemed to satisfy anyone...) - I fumbled through an explanation to which she then asked "You feel like you belong there don't you?"

And that really was it. I'm more comfortable in my own skin here. I'm not sure why and it's not always that way, but the most part its true. I think I'm meant to be here.

So why am I writing this? Well, every once in a while I ask myself why I'm living here and sometimes I find my answers not very compelling or convincing - then I think of that conversation with my cousin. It reminds me of the feeling I had when applying for residency, when packing up and even when flying over: my gut was telling me I was doing the right thing. Probably not a good enough reason for some, but it's the thing that keeps me believing I should stay. I believe in myself - or more succintly, I believe in my gut.

There's a reasons I came and although times sometimes get tough - like I miss my friends, I miss my family, and I surprisingly miss snow - I know there's a reason I'm here and I'm not leaving until I figure it out. Once I figure it out, then I'll know if I'm staying for good....

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I got a package from home today.

My buzzer went at 7:15 this morning and in my sleep-addled state, I went on auto pilot and answered the door. Good thing, seeing the mailman had a package from home for me.

Did I mention I got a package from home?

Any package is a good package but this package was amazing. I tried to hold off opening it until I got home from work, but my curiosity was killing me, so I opened it (and made myself late for work in the process).

It was from my best friend and it had the best things in it. No kidding. It had funny birthday cards (two - due to a mail mix up - last year's present got returned to her so she re-sent it with this years'), hand painted pictures from her girls (which will go up on the walls...), a toe ring (I love 'em!), a Canada sweatshirt from Roots that a zip-up front (which I happen to be wearing right now - and I love because I own almost nothing with 'Canada' on it), a framed photo of me and the girls, a bunch of pictures - which to me are priceless and probably the best gift for me, and one thing wrapped in an envelope - which turned out to be the best of all.

Written on the envelope was an explanation. Apparently on the drive from Toronto to the cottage last summer, I pointed out my favourite spot on the way up. Unbeknownst to me, on the way back home my best friend and her family stopped and took a picture of my favourite view on earth. As a birthday present, she developed, framed it and surprised me with it. I can't begin to tell you how much that means.

Now, although I can be sentimental, it takes a lot of work to get me to well up over anything. In fact, when I first left Canada, one of my very good friends put a scrapbook together for me of our 20 year friendship and included comments and observations about how wonderful it was to be friends. Beautiful really. Her husband couldn't believe that it didn't reduce me to tears. It's not that I didn't feel the same way - and in fact, I found what she had done extremely touching - it's just that I don't usually express myself with tears.

Until today that is.

I actually misted over. And in fact, misted over numerous times throughout the day when I thought of the picture and the incredible amount of thought and caring that went into sending it to me.

A simple thing, but a wonderful thing. My best friend is just that: the best.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Almost Famous

'Rove live' is the Australian equivalent to Late Night with David Letterman. Okay, not quite (I am a huge David Letterman fan), but pretty close. The host is a lot younger, not quite as bizarre, no gap between his front teeth, but really, really, really funny.

I was watching the other night and Rove was filming a harbour boat cruise that the show was running, where passengers were to dress according to some kind of nautical theme. Intermittently on the show the cameras would go to the boat and see how the party was going. At one point, the set crew realised they were about to sail by the Prime Minister's home and were talking about it on air, wondering aloud if the PM was actually watching, daring him on air to prove that he was by flashing them (flashing his lights that is - but don't think they didn't have fun with the term 'flashing'). Of course this built up over time (akin to David Letterman trying to get Oprah on his show) so by the time the boat actually went by the PM's house, there was much excitement in the air (I don't know why I'm talking like a freak, but it's amusing me...).

So did the PM flash? Well, he's Australian - they're born to take the piss out of themselves. So.... Of course he did!

How funny was that?

Maybe I didn't explain it very well, but trust me, it was funny. Rove's reaction was great. I mean, how good is it when someone plays along??

Anyway - what has this got to do with my being almost famous? Well, at one point when they flashed back to the boat, they not only interviewed the party-goers, they also interviewed the Captain of the boat. And you know what? The Captain of the boat was this young, blond girl who looked familiar - and then I realised - she's the one who sold me my car!!

I think I'm now famous by association.

There's a local radio station that apparently runs a contest for the lamest claim to fame. I think I'd win with that one....

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's not writer's block....

it's short term memory loss.

I come up with the greatest things to write about. I just come up with them at the wrong time and the wrong place.

Take tonight for instance. I was on my way home from dinner and I can remember being really enthused about what I was going to write about. I even laughed a couple of times to myself while I composed some sentences in my head. But now, can I remember those sentences? No. Can I even remember the topic? Nada.

I've taken to having writing pads handy at work and at home and a pen nearby so I can jot the topics down and maybe the odd sentence or two, but now, instead of thinking of things at work or at home, I now think of things while in the car, on the ferry, walking to work - or like the other evening - in the hallway outside my apartment as I was leaving. That time I even went so far as to go back inside and write it down. But by the time I got in, I had forgotten, so I stubbornly refused to leave until I remembered what it was. 10 minutes later I did, but then I was less than convinced that it was really going to be all that interesting as a blog entry.

I think my mind is working against me. I think it doesn't want me to be a writer. Or could it be my fear subconsciously working against me?? (Okay - that last comment was meant to be a joke... but sometimes I wonder)

So if I won't give up writing, maybe I should look into taking some herbal remedies to improve my memory. Now, if only I could remember what they were.....

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Corner Office

Did one of my favourite things today: browsed in a bookstore. Think I may have found a new author - which is cool, but I also think I found an author I didn't like.

I was browsing through the new releases when I came across a book called
"Nice girls don't get the corner office" . Even though I knew I shouldn't, I couldn't help myself, I picked it up. There seemed to be over 100 reasons as to why women don't get the corner office, the following is the few I can remember:

1. Because women tuck their feet up under them when they sit on a seat
2. Because some women wear their hair too long
3. Because women smile too frequently and inappropriately

All of the above reasons make women seem too feminine, therefore - according to the author - they'll never get the corner office.

Honestly, I don't get it. What's wrong with being feminine? And if being feminine means that women don't get the corner office, then do we really want it? If women can't get ahead by being women - doesn't that mean there's something wrong with the system? And not, as the book seems to suggest, that there's something wrong with being a woman?

I don't know why this book bothered me so much, but inherently it just seems wrong. Scarily enough, the reviews I've read thought the book was fabulous, but I don't see how. To me, the message from the book was that in order for women to succeed we have to change and not be ourselves. How depressing.

I don't think I want that kind of success.

Friday, April 22, 2005


I found a new guitar teacher. His name's Keith and he's very nice. (In other words he doesn't make me feel like a complete nerd like the last one as I explained here)

Why? Well, mostly because he's nice, but also because he's older. (is that ageism in reverse?) Not old as in retirement age, but not as young as the 22 year old rock-star wannabe who was my previous teacher. In fact, he's 37. How do I know this? Well, because I asked him. Why did I ask? Well, because he asked me how old I was. Surprising? Kind of. But I did mention my birthday was coming up and I was feeling old. So not totally unexpected....

(Hey, did I mention my birthday is in 17 days? ( The
countdown is on....)

Anyway - as I was saying, he's quite nice...if not a little hippie-ish. He came to my place for my lesson and we sat on the floor for the entire time. Mind you - that might have more to do with my not having any furniture other than a couch, rather than him being a hippie... Either way, it was a little embarrassing that when I got up, both hips cracked, my back cracked and one of my shoulders. If he hadn't already known how old I was, that would have given him a big hint.... (For those of you who don't have any clue as to how old I am, I am younger than my guitar teacher, but not by a whole lot What causes a lot of confusion is that - by general consensus - I look much younger than that)

Overall, I thought he was pretty good. He definitely knew what he was talking about - (the info I got on him says that he's written some music for some famous singers (even though Celine Dion is a little cringe worthy - it's still impressive..)and also for commercials. He's traveled quite a bit for music as well.) He has a pretty good teaching style - gave me specific techniques, hand strengthening exercises, chords and practicing times and tips - as well as a 'Learn to Play Guitar' book he'd written.

So if he's so good, why does there sound like there's a 'but' coming? Well there isn't one really... except it makes me laugh when he intersperses any and all conversation with the phrase "rock'n'roll!" without warning. That's even his way of saying goodbye: as he left my flat his final words were - yup, you guessed it -"rock'n'roll!"

But he's nice - and so far I like him. So I will continue to take lessons from him (and supplement those lessons with visits to Rob's website (thanks Rob) at and do my best not to laugh out loud the next time he unexpectedly uses the term "rock'n'roll" as a form of punctuation. Hopefully, I'll just get used to it soon so I won't get caught smirking... The guy really is too nice.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Work has made me grumpy. Working at a bank has made me grumpy. So grumpy I can't even write about my guitar lesson.

There's this guy at work who looks at me like I'm stupid. And when I ask questions, he either sighs or rolls his eyes first. He's mean. He makes me feel bad. The hard part is, I don't dislike him.

I wish I could. Then it wouldn't matter what he thought of me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hockey Update

In my previous post about hockey I wrote that the best way to insult a Canadian is to call hockey 'ice hockey'.

The guys at work took this and ran with it.

I received multiple emails 'proving' that hockey played on ice is actually called ice hockey. I found one rebuttal, but it was quickly discounted because the article was 'North American' based.

Why I should never join a debate team? My answer to their emails:

"Oh yeah? Well go to Canada and refer to hockey as ice hockey. They'll think you're a freak!!"

Not one of my finer moments...

You know you're getting old when....'re in the grocery store and some young teenager stops to ask you where something is.

... the teenager you just helped find some cooking ingredient turns to you and asks what kind of mushroom 'shiitake' is and would it matter if she used something else instead in her recipe.

On the surface - it all sounds harmless enough - but since when did I look like I was responsible enough to know where stuff was in a grocery store? or worse yet, knew how to cook? I was still in 'work attire'. I'm scared to think I reminded her of her mother.

Maybe it's just because I have such a friendly face...

Monday, April 18, 2005

I had THE best breakfast today

Oatmeal. Hmmmm, I love it. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and Mom used to cook us oatmeal. I loved to watch the brown sugar melt on the oatmeal. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water... Now, I've never been much of a breakfast eater, but on oatmeal mornings I cleaned the bowl.

So this morning I was a little late getting up for work - not that that's different from most mornings - but today I had no food in my apartment - okay, that's not so unusual either - but TODAY I was hungry. When I got to work I realised that there was just no way I was going to make it until lunch without some food and I needed to buy breakfast.

Now the tricky part is - I'm horribly picky about my food. (If it doesn't have coca-cola in the name or chocolate in the ingredients, I'm quite a health nut.) See the thing is, my body - for whatever reason - doesn't really tolerate preservatives, artificial flavourings very well - and especially not yeast. Makes it a little hard to get food on the run - or at least good food on the run. (I know, I know - if you can't handle all the artificial crap what in the world are you doing drinking Coke? Truly, I am an addict at heart.. You can tell me time and time again how bad something is for me - but if I like it? I have it. I not only have it, I HAVE to have it. Which is partly why I've never tried coffee and I've never tried recreational drugs. That would just be a mess. That fact that I quit smoking is a miracle....)

Once again, I digress...

Back home I usually made my own lunch (which I should do now - but am way too lazy..) or I had a few fall back places to buy myself a salad or something equally safe to eat. Here? It's been a struggle. There's definitely a reason why Australia is closing in on the US as the most obese nation in the world...

But I found my ace in the hole: a place called Well-Being. Can't go wrong with a place name that, can you? Nope you can't. (You thought I was being sarcastic, didn't you?) They have great chicken breast salads - and I've become enough of a regular that they know not to add french onion or shredded carrots (I like carrots, just not shredded. Told you I was fussy..). Well, I noticed sometime back that they had a breakfast menu, but had never been.

Until today, that is.

Well-Being Hot Oats. Yummmm. Hot oats with a liberal dash of honey (not quite brown sugar, but equally yummy). The oats were mixed with diced apple, topped with strawberries and bananas and doused with skim milk. Hmmmm. Yummmmm. And only $3.50! What a bargain!!

I so enjoyed my breakfast that my boss actually apologised for interrupting me when he came by my desk to ask me a question.

Well-Being. A little bit of heaven, right here on Earth..

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Logic Puzzles

Logic puzzles are my newest private addiction... (See this earlier post for the original private addition) I used to do them occasionally while traveling just to keep my grey matter active (if you've ever backpacked for any length of time - you'll know how quickly your brain shuts off...) but lately - despite not traveling - I've started doing them again. Perhaps my recent spate of solo suntanning on the beach has made me feel like a traveler again in the sense that I spend a large majority of the day doing nothing....

At any rate, I have become addicted. It started with just doing them on the beach, then it was doing them on the way to work, on the way from work, then I even started doing them in the evenings while watching tv (come on - I didn't give up tv!)

And the scariest part of all? I only have my ex-boyfriend Craig to thank for it. Years ago, when I was dating him I went on an extended trip and as a going away present he gave me a book of logic puzzles. (Only one of the many reasons why we're no longer together. Logic puzzles as a going away gift from a boyfriend? How romantic... And that was an improvement over the birthday present - but I won't go into that.) I guess it is true that there's a silver lining to every cloud - sometimes it just takes a while to see it.

So if you ever feel like you need a mental challenge - try Dell's logic puzzles. There are worse things to be addicted to!

(I really am a nerd!)

Saturday, April 16, 2005


I watched the Incredibles tonight - what a fun movie! Great movie for a rainy evening. It's exactly what a comic book superhero movie should be and doesn't get muddled by being a flick played with real actors. Thankfully, animation doesn't come with off-screen personas and good/bad press outhyping the actual movie.

I rented two movies but got sucked in mid-movie by LA Confidential which was on television. It seemed like a good movie, but I think I really needed to pay more attention. Maybe it's because I started watching mid-movie or maybe I was just filling time because the only other thing I had to watch was the movie "Shall We Dance?" Actually probably a little bit of both....

Well, anyway - from what I saw it seemed like an intelligent movie. One of those rare ones that actually have a storyline... A good movie despite the presence of Val Kilmer - although he was very sexy - kind of reminiscent of his Top Gun days. I guess I'm going to have to rent it to find out exactly what happened and why - although having already seen the final shoot out I'm not sure there's much point.

Earlier I took a swipe at "Shall We Dance, but now having watched it for the last hour or so, its not so bad. I mean, I'm not surprised that it didn't win any Oscar's but it's nowhere near as bad as Jersey Girl... Though I would never have cast Richard Gere in the lead - but maybe that's because everytime I see his face I think of gerbils... That image doesn't quite fit with ballroom dancing.

Oops - spoke too soon. Just got to the climatic scene and its offending me in so many ways.... I could list, but I want to erase these last few scenes from my memory...

Follow first instincts. Don't rent movies with Richard Gere and/or Jennifer Lopez...

Swim Perhaps?

Or perhaps not....

I was going to go to the beach for a swim today, but then I saw this article: Shark Attack on Sydney Beach. Still was thinking of going for a swim, but this kept flashing in my brain:

Thankfully, no Jaws theme music, but I figured that would kick in as soon as my feet touched sand...

Love the beach, but today I gave it a pass - seeing as I don't have a surfboard to fend off an attack... Mind you, the surfer in question went right back in the water. I guess all that water must have water logged his brain.

So that swim? Maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, April 14, 2005


There are many different ways I could spend $250, for instance:

  • A day at the spa (okay, maybe a half day)
  • A new bookshelf (which I really need)
  • A barbeque (which I really want)
  • A new suit for work
  • Okay, maybe just a new jacket for work
  • Funky leather boots (which I also really want... I now live in a country where its cold enough to wear boots in the winter, but NO salt stains because there's NO snow!)
  • A chair for my living room
  • A new bikini with a matching sarong and perhaps some beach sandals
  • A new eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and some concealer (scary to think that that would add up to $250, but it would!)
  • Some cute new tops for going out
  • A month's worth of one to one personal training
  • 400 million pounds of chocolate
  • A really funky sports watch
  • Nice casual pants (in this country it could cost me almost $250 for one pair, but maybe I could find a sale and get two in different colours)
  • Half the tuition for a writing course.......

I could go on and on. And on. Funny how my wish list never gets shorter...

But having listed all the things I want, what did I spend $250 on?

Bette Midler.

Does that answer seem like odd man out to the above list? Yeah? No kidding. Yet somehow, that's what I spent it on. Was she good? Yeah she was alright, but I don't think $250 to hear her sing The Wind Beneath My Wings and The Rose was really good value for money...

And to think I wouldn't spend $125 on the Eagles!! There is no logic in my life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Today is Miscellaneous Thoughts Day

I don't think any post today is going to be longer than a sentence.

Heinz, there are no other kinds

unless you're talking soup, then it's gotta be Campbell's!

It's only 26 days to my birthday.

Just thought I should let you know....

Somehow, despite my advancing years, I still get excited.

I don't think I'll ever grow up

Monday, April 11, 2005

I have a new Little Sister!

As in the Big Sister/Little Sister program. (My mom's well past menopause - it certainly can't be anything else....)

Tonight was first meeting night. First impressions? She's very cute - and although a little shy as could be expected - she has quite a spark to her. Hope she liked me. Her mother seemed a little apprehensive - but after answering a multitude of her questions, she seemed to be okay with me.

I must say, I have been a little apprehensive about the whole undertaking, but after meeting her and her family tonight, I am very glad I've joined the program. Wonder how many weeks it'll take until there's none of those little awkward silences....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Fine Dining

Most people would consider fine dining to be done by candlelight perhaps? in a nice restaurant maybe? with some wine? good food? subtle, slightly romantic background music?

Well you won't get that at Chez Laura.

Instead you'll get fluorescent lighting, a spot on the floor, flat Coke, edible (just) but bland food accompanied by the harsh squawking of the smoke alarm.

Tonight's ambiance proved something: practice does not make perfect. Though mind you, practice probably requires more than a once a month attempt to be considered practice....

What - WHAT - made me say yes?????

I am now at home in my comfy pajamas, watching the Four Tops on David Letterman (thank God for technology (or tv in this case) that crosses borders... I really needed a dose of home..and humour - David Letterman fits both criteria) drinking a mug of hot cocoa (made from scratch). I know I"m supposed to be off chocolate, but after tonight, I SOOO deserve a warm mug of comfort.

I truly can't believe I said yes. I knew, I KNEW in my gut it was a mistake, but no. I convinced myself to go anyway. What am I talking about? A singles harbour cruise. ( I saw that cringe! but it's not as bad as the cringing I was doing ON the cruise).

New to Sydney, I went on a harbour cruise run by firemen over a year ago. Again that time I knew I shouldn't but was cajoled into it. After which I PROMISED myself I wouldn't never do something like that again. Why didn't I keep my promise. Why?

You know I'm a fairly social person, generally can feel comfortable in a situation where I know no one - or close to no one, but not tonight. I don't know what it is, but I find it difficult to talk to anyone (probably because I'm not interested in talking to any of the drunk louts in the place, now that I think about it....) and I become very shy and introverted. Totally not the kind of thing you should do at a singles event. I isolate myself by my unsocial behaviour that then makes me feel like a loser. But the thing is, I don't really WANT to talk to any of them.

I got talked into going by a friend of a friend. As you know if you've been reading this blog, I've been trying to rebuild a life here over the last couple months, so I've really been making an effort to get out and do things I like and go out when invited and get to know more people, blah, blah, blah. So when I was asked to go, I thought to myself Why not? What have I got to lose? At the very least maybe I meet some new friends (the person who asked me to go was going with a group of friends).

Wrong. So very wrong.

The men were like a pack of animals. Pack animals on the hunt. Badly behaved, disrespectful - and that's when they were sober. They just got worse as the evening (and the drinks) continued. And being on a boat - I couldn't just leave - which somehow makes it seem so much worse, bordering on intolerable. I think most of the guys on the boat were spoiled rich boys. They seemed to have that private school, clique, posse mentality. Snobs basically. Totally NOT my type of guys.

After the boat docked, there was some after party, but the girl I went with didn't seem to mind that I wanted to go home instead - she was happy to go on, on her own. Thankfully, one of the guys she was with made mention of just packing it in, so I was able to share a cab home. The nicest guy of the bunch, I may add - cause he actually had some manners (when walking across the street, I was a little slower than the group - mostly because they were all 6'4", but also because I had heels on - and he slowed down so I wasn't walking by myself). And no, he wasn't hitting on me.

I don't know what made me do it, but I truly need to stop saying yes.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

You've got mail!

I spoke too soon. The day after I posted my complaint about not getting mail, I came home to three pieces of mail! Then the next day I had a huge package in my mailbox! They were mostly bills and information packages, but at least my mailbox wasn't empty..

Too bad that woman wasn't standing over my shoulder like last time, then I could have waved my mail in her face and said "Hah! See! People DO love me!!!"

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I never get any mail

Every day I get home from work, I check my mailbox before entering my building to the same result: nothingness.

I used to get home from work and find my mailbox stuffed with flyers and pamphlets. It got to the point that there was no room for other pieces of mail so I put up a little sign saying "no flyers". It worked. I no longer get flyers. But now that I no longer get flyers, I realise I needn't have worried about the lack of room for mail. Why? you may ask. Well, that's because I get no mail.

And I mean nothing. Not even bills! Why? you may ask again. Well, it's not that I don't have bills to pay, it's just that due to the wonderful bureaucratic nightmare I live in (also affectionately called Australia) I now have to pre-pay all my bills via my credit card or pay a $500 deposit for services like gas, electricity etc. And although I do make a fairly decent wage, I object on principle to handing over a couple of thousand dollars to what are essentially government agencies so I can have a flat with basic utility services. Why should the government earn interest off of my money?

Apparently I'm not a credit risk - but what does that matter? apparently being a new resident is enough. Doesn't matter that credit card companies trust me with over $10,000, the utility companies don't think I'm good for - at max - $100 a month.

But I digress....

So, I now come home and check my mailbox to find it empty, have sarcastic thoughts flit through my head commentating on how loserish that seems, to then head up to my apartment to an answering machine that rarely, if ever, flickers. (Hmmm. Maybe I should get the checked. It could be the battery..... No - even I'm not buying that one.)

So I make jokes about the fact that my mailbox is empty, but console myself with the knowledge that I do have friends and family at home who love and miss me, the issue is they're just not letter writers... Fair enough, but all that internal consoling I do didn't help me the other day:

I came home from work and - as usual - before I entered my building, I checked my mailbox. I opened it - and you guessed it - it was empty. Didn't think much of it but then as I was locking it back up and turning towards the door, I realised one of my neighbours was waiting for me and holding the door open. When I turned around she said is a joking voice, "nobody loves you huh?"

I think she may be right.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Going Commando

can be a risky affair, but I still can't resist... Must be the beach culture influence of my adopted home. (Actually, no, that's not true, I've always had a penchant for going commando...)

Now, permanent commando really isn't cool. What's cool is that it's a random thing, usually transpiring in a casual atmosphere, but its most cool when when it spontaneously happens in a non-casual atmosphere. Like today.

Got home from work and had already decided in my head what I was having for supper: tomato soup (still not 100% over my flu, so decided tonight was a night for 'feel better' food). Got in my flannel pajamas (it's a cool evening tonight), headed into the kitchen and opened the cupboards to discover I only had cream of chicken soup. Now - for once - I do have a fairly full fridge so I could have made myself something else for dinner, but my heart (and stomach) was set on tomato - so to the store I went.

Luckily for me there is a grocery store in the bottom of my building so usually I can just zip down in whatever I'm wearing, but even for me, flannel pajamas is just a little too casual. So what did I do? I quickly slipped on the pants I had worn to work (my top luckily matched my work pants so the change was minimal effort) but I just didn't feel like taking out another pair of underwear and there was no way that I was going to dig through my dirty clothes hamper....

Commando. It's been so long since I've gone commando. (Now if you feel this is too much information for you.... get over it - this is still a PG rated blog site) It's usually only northern Ontario cottage country that inspires it, but tonight it was just laziness. Still, walking through the grocery aisles I experienced that feeling of rebellious freedom. You know the feeling - it happens when you know you're doing something non-conformist but you're the only one who knows you're doing it.... It puts a secret smile on your face.

A secret smile that people smile back at.... Or, are they smiling because I forgot to do up my zipper??

A discreet glance down with a subtle feel on the zipper. Nope. All is locked up tight. The secret smile returned accompanied by a bashful blush. People around me were no longer smiling back - in fact they were taking small steps away thinking (at least, this is what I imagined they were thinking in my paranoid mind...) "why is that girl smiling so strangely to herself? it looks like she just felt herself up... think I'll go down the next aisle..."
But no matter, despite the fear of being found out, the feeling of freedom was worth the price of alienating my fellow shoppers....

Ahhh, the thrill of commando....

Monday, April 04, 2005

Stuck in the 80's

My addiction to American Idol has led me down a very shady path...memory lane as it were. See, I was watching the other week and one of the girls sang one of my favourite songs from the 80's - and in my opinion (although contrary to the judge's opinions) she mangled it.

But it stuck with me so that for the last two weeks I've been singing in my head (even went so far as to look up the lyrics on the net) - or at least I've been trying to sing it in my head but she mangled it so badly, I just can't get the tune right.

Or I couldn't until this afternoon. This afternoon I went out and bought 'Best Hits of the 80's" 3 CD compilation just so I could hear 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' sung properly. But that little glimpse down memory lane ended up turning into a long leisurely stroll as I listened to song after song from the 80's (you folks do remember REO Speedwagon don't you?).

I'm getting a LOT done at my new job.....

Sunday, April 03, 2005

House Inspection

I've been a little remiss in keeping up to date on the developments with the Big Sister program. (Thanks to the words of encouragement from tomama and chantz...) But so far, it's all good.

Did my day training a few weeks ago and since then things have progressed pretty quickly. Got a call almost immediately to tell me about a potential match - checked out the driving distance (everything is far from Manly...) and gave the thumbs up to go ahead with the process. (FYI - I have decided that in fairness to the potential 'Little' and in keeping with the spirit of the program, I won't be recounting any particulars/specifics about the Little - but may give updates on how it's going - especially if I do something stupid (pretty good odds of that...)). Just heard back that the girl and her family are excited to meet me.

Very cool.

Next step is my home inspection. Seeing as I don't have anything illegal or dangerous in my flat I should be okay. As long as they don't care about cleanliness.........

Saturday, April 02, 2005

My Lucky Day

Lying on the beach, enjoying one of the last beach days before autumn really takes hold, when something wet and warm lands 'splat' on my stomach. At first I thought someone was throwing suntan lotion at me - it only took a few seconds for me to realise that was completely ridiculous and to look down at the warm splotch. Bird shit.

Seems I'd been targeted from above. Wasn't planning on going for a swim, but sometimes you do what you have to do....

Heard that having a bird shit on you is good luck. Not sure if that's true or if that's just some wives tale that's told to make the shitee feel better...

Friday, April 01, 2005


That's me today. Grumpy. For a couple of reasons...

One - I think I'm still fighting off this flu

Two - just found out today my boss's boss is leaving for another area of the bank so we're about to be subjected to a re-structure (not even two months into my job - great - so if I get restructured out - no payout. Had I been there three months I would have been entitled to 1/4 of my annual salary. Would have been all over that!!! Definitely would have been able to take an extended summer vacation home....)

It's the uncertainty. Uncertainty makes me grumpy. That and today is my first day of giving up chocolate...

Sick, uncertain, chocolate-less. Grumpy x3.