Canadian Down Under

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sleeping update

Many thanks for the comments and suggestions for battling my recent sleeping problems, they are much appreciated and I will try them tonight.

Question though - will they work against my new sleeping problem that developed last night? The one commonly known as insomnia? Seems I worried too much about waking up in the middle of the night, that I couldn't fall asleep at all.

I'm so weird.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sleep is wonderful

Or at least uninterrupted sleep is wonderful. At least that's the way I remember it, because I certainly haven't been living it.

Not getting restful sleep can make me a very grumpy girl....which is a problem since I've just started a new job and have to be on my best behaviour at work.

Uggh. Tired. Sleepy. Heavy eyes. And why? Well, I don't know. Or more accurately, I can't remember.

I sleep 8 hours, but these dreams are ruining my sleep and starting to do my head in. To top it off, I can't remember any of them.

Any suggestions on how to make it all stop?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Good effort"

"Good effort" is a euphemism for "oh my God you are lazy!!!"

"Good effort" is also a euphemism for "my God you've gotten really fat and extremely weak while you were away on holidays, so I'm going to have to say something to encourage you to come back, because if anyone needs exercise, it's you!"

I don't know which one my very cute Pilates instructor was meaning, but either way, it's not good.

Too bad "good effort" wasn't a euphemism for "I think you're really but and I'm just practicing talking to you while trying to summon up the courage to ask you out."

Oh - and in answer to your question - the colour of the sky in my world is a very nice blue..

Monday, September 26, 2005

I need a boyfriend

I know I've said this before, but I really mean it this time.

What's driving this? Well, not what you might think - it's my fear of creepy crawlies. I think my Beetle sighting and more recently my Huntsmans encounter the other day has made me a little jumpy. (I now turn on the bathroom light when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, despite the light removing the last vestiges of sleep and any hope of going right back into dreamworld.....)

Well, now I have a situation I can't deal with. And fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) I can delay dealing....but I'm not sure that's a good thing either. Let me explain.

I noticed my kitchen light is looking a little dimmer than it used to be. I ignored that for a while, but today it piqued my curiosity so I looked up a the light covering to see why (like that would magically fix it...) and smack dab in the middle of the light covering was a black shadow in the shape of beetle (I just can't even contemplate that it might be a cockroach....). I mean it's dead and not going anywhere, but it's in my house.

This is not going to do anything for my peace of mind.

If you read my earlier story about my last beetle visit, you've probably realised there's no way I can cope with having to empty a beetle out of a light fixture.

No way.

I'm sure a boyfriend would fix it for me.

How pathetic is it that I think getting a boyfriend (been single for eons....) will be so much easier than getting rid of a dead bug by myself?

Some days I'm such a girl.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I've been having the wildest dreams lately. Really. So much so that they've been waking me up in the middle of the night - multiple times in the night, in fact. And they're so vivid!! Invariably when waking up in the middle of the night, I have to go to the bathroom and I can remember a few times as I was shuffling my way back to bed in the semi-conscious way I do when being woken up in the middle of the night, thinking to myself."You should write this down so you don't forget." But then answering myself (yes, scarily enough, I do sometimes answer myself...), "There's no way you'll forget this shit!!" But, lo and behold, in the morning I wake up, vaguely remembering that I'd been up a gazillion times, let alone remember what I was dreaming.

All I know for sure is that they were those types of dreams that are really warped, yet somehow make a lot of sense.

For example, one I actually do remember from a few weeks ago went something like this: My ex-ex-ex boyfriend of over 10 years ago was standing in front of me agreeing to have sex with me, but only because I had BEGGED him.... but he would only do it one condition: that he could be completely covered in Saran Wrap - and I mean COMPLETELY. So I looked at him and said forget it.

Bizarre - oh so bizarre!!! for a couple of reasons:
1. Me begging him. As I remember the relationship, the only person doing the begging was him..... and
2. Saran Wrap??????????

But see where it made sense? I SAID NO! Thank the Lord for small miracles....

By the way, I have no idea what this dream means or the significance of it, but I gotta tell you - I can still feel the wave of relief that washed over me when I remember the whole scene and that I had said no.

You know, you just can't make this shit up. I really need to keep a pen and paper by my bed - I have a feeling my subconscious has been sending me quite a few gems!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What not to do

There is much debate in North America about health care systems: which is better, the Canadian or American system? (Which is more of a debate over the better of two evils - as we know neither system is perfect.)

But I gotta tell you - whatever needs to be done to those health care systems - just don't base your changes off of the Australian health care model because it's crap!

Now seeing as I'm Canadian and spent the majority of my life living in Canada (Ontario to be exact), I have little to no experience with private health care and private health care funds and the like. My first exposure to them was my first job here in Australia - I worked for one of the major private health insurance companies - and man, you only have to be here a short time to understand what a great deal I had (for those of you still living there - you have) in Ontario. It costs me over $600.00 a year to get half of what I had in Canada for free!!!!

Now - even if I do say so myself - I'm fairly bright, definitely well-educated and am fairly quick on picking up new concepts, yet I find the health care system out here almost impossible to understand. (The one piece I do get is that if I don't have health insurance, my taxes go up by more than $600.00, so in essence its cheaper for me to have health insurance than not... God, I sure am a numbers person.)

My current health care insurance is a 'package' that includes hospitals and what they call extras. Under my extras I can claim for massages, but I just discovered that this only applies to masseurs that are registered with my fund. But a masseur can only register with a fund if someone tries to claim their service. So, although my fund rejected my claim, I may still get some money back if I re-submit my form to my health fund, so my health fund can contact the masseur to see if they want to be part of the fund. If they all agree, I get some money back.....probably a decade from now.

Now this sounds like an awful lot of work for $20, doesn't it? I think so too. And this is only what I need to do to get a refund for a massage, don't even get me started on dentists!!! Thanks goodness I haven't had anything more serious than that.

Ugggh. Australia - the land where bureaucrats go to die.....

Friday, September 23, 2005


Do you know that's a Canadianism??

The rest of the world says 'anyway'.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

I am so weak

I have been so good lately!!! No chocolate in ages!!!! Well....except for the hot chocolate at the Lindt cafe (Yup, Lindt has a cafe here where you can get almost anything chocolate, including hot chocolate where they steam the milk and give you a little jug of melted chocolate to mix in yourself. Yum!!!) But to be fair - when my boss - my new boss, that is - asks me to go, it'd just be impolite to say no...No?

Other than that, I've been good. Eating salads for dinner, remembering to have breakfast and no midday snacks (really, I'm so amazing I amaze myself sometimes..) Until tonight. I stopped in at the grocery store on my way home to get a piece of fruit to go with my salad dinner tonight (I told you I was amazing!) and it was game over.

Well, actually I resisted initially - walked down the candy aisle - looked, thought about it, but didn't pick up. But the I saw them - Mars and Snickers - and I was done.

See - a little while back the company that makes those chocolate bars removed all product from all shelves in New South Wales due to anonymous threat that some of the chocolate had been poisoned. They did these amazing commercials where the president of the company explained the situation and what they were doing about and how product would not return to any shelf until they could assure consumers/customers that the product was safe.

They did the right thing - and I'm sure at great expense to themselves - but they did the right thing. For that, I swore when the product was once again sold here, I would buy Snickers and Mars to the exclusion of all other chocolate. Yet when I came back from Canada and saw it on the shelves again, I resisted. I resisted because I am now treating my body as a temple once again (need to do something after eating 1/2 pound of bacon every day while away.... sorry Aussie's don't know how to do bacon!).

Here I was treating my body like a temple - yet I felt guilty for not buying chocolate. I mean I could have bought it and not eaten it..... Yeah, no. That would never have happened. So anyway - the guilt was getting to me.

Guilt. Yeah, that's why I cracked....

I am so going to enjoy this chocolate bar!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Spread your fingers out as wide as you can

and then imagine the following at that size....

Welcome to the world of Australian spiders. And welcome to what was sitting on the stairwell door handle....

Think I'll be taking the elevator to the main floor instead of the stairs for a little while.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I can really be a wanker sometimes....

I'm almost embarrassed to admit what I did today.....


See, today was D-day. Or should I call it C-day? Well, whichever, today I had my interview with DIMIA (Australian immigration) for my citizenship interview (C-day, get it?) I got all my stuff together: my passport, my birth certificate, my proof of identity form and my letter which told me my interview was at 12:00.

Surprisingly, I was almost on time. Got there at about 12:02 (Not bad for me - in fact, all round pretty impressive....) and was told to get a ticket.

A ticket? But I had an appointment?

But no, must follow policy/procedure and get a ticket then sit and wait. Silly me to think that if you have an APPOINTMENT for 12:00 that'd you actually get to see someone at the appointed time, but apparently The Department of Immigration has a different interpretation of the word 'appointment' from the rest of the world.

So, I sit down and I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait some more.

I occupy myself with daydreaming about how I'd handle it if a guy proposed to me. I substitute various men I've known, former boyfriends, potential boyfriends, totally unsuitable suitors, famous men, etc - and discover it doesn't matter who I rotate it in - it all ends badly...... I realise that shock, revulsion and fear all cause the same physical reaction in me....

I wait some more.

And some more.

I get bored and look around and see a banner about Australian citizenship and read it.

I wait some more.

I look at my watch and see it's almost 1:30 and something in my brain clicks: there's a phone number on that banner.

I use it.

So, as I'm sitting in the waiting room waiting for my number to be called, I call their number.....

When they answer the phone, I explain my situation: that I had a 12:00 appointment and it's now 1:30 and ask if I should re-schedule or will somebody be seeing me soon. (I really can be a wanker sometimes....) I mention that I've just started a new job and really can't be gone from work much longer. I explain that I thought if I had a 12:00 appointment that someone would actually see me at that time and that I wouldn't be expected to wait. I ask if I should re-schedule or will the same thing happen again on the re-scheduled day and hence, I should just wait today. (I told you I can be a wanker)

While I'm saying all this (note - I am being very nice on the phone) , a few things happen: 1. people in the waiting room start staring and 2. My number gets called.

How funny is that?

I rock up to window #64 and the woman looks up at me and says, "Oh, it's you."

Not a good start to an immigration interview.....

Not knowing the 5 rights and privileges of being an Australian citizen (they give you a sheet with them on it to memorize that I could have been reading while waiting - but, of course, wasn't) isn't a good way to continue either.

But since I'm so anal, everything was in order and I was told they'd be in touch to set up the ceremony day.

Funny though - apparently the woman couldn't organise for my brother and I to do it together. Hmmm, was told when I called last month that that wouldn't be a problem....


Guess I'm not the only one who thinks I can be a wanker.

You know you're fat when....

You're friends haven't seen you in a long time and they tell you that you look great, but then buy you a really nice commemorative t-shirt in EXTRA LARGE!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Flashdance fashion is back???

When did that happen?

Why did no one warn me?

Or is this just an isolated incident of bad Australian fashion sense? (The isolated incident being the flashdance sighting, not the bad Australian fashion sense....)

Seriously, went to my first Pilates class since coming back and in one short month yoga fashion has changed. Now, seeing as I make my own serious judgment errors when it comes to the appropriate clothing for yoga (which funnily enough I've managed to never write about.....but God I've made some doozies...maybe another time), I'm quite conscious/aware of what everyone else is wearing - mostly looking for hints really.... But today, it just seemed like half the class needed to go to remedial fashion school, what with the jagged cut necklines and exposed shoulders....

Tell me this was just a class full of people with bad taste and not the latest fashion trend. Please!!!

Life's Good

Nothing special's happened, but just thought I should share....

Thursday, September 15, 2005

As luck would have it....

I have been putting off and putting off buying new tires for my car (see post below which might explain why...)

See, when I got my rego renewed for my car last year, the guy inspecting my car would only pass me if I promised, and I mean promised (he made me say it three times) to get new tires. Well, that was March - and funnily enough its now September and I hadn't quite made it yet...

But the guilt was getting to me (and the squealing tires as I turned corners) so I finally took my car to the local garage - the garage the helped me out when I blew my radiator hose - also known as the garage that repaired my hose instead of making me buy a complete new whatchamacallit (that's as technical as I can get when it comes to cars).

So you know what? Apparently my tires still have about 5,000 kms of life left in them. Huh, imagine that. 5,000 kms. Considering I only drive on weekends - and generally not too far - that could last me another year!

Yeah! That should save me about $600 in the short term. Yeah!!!

Hmmm, seems my rego guy went to the same school of ripping off foreigners as my dentist - but I'll save that story for another day....

I have spent SOOOOO much money

Seriously - even for me - I think this trip home has been an excess in self-indulgence....

I'm almost too scared to look at my Visa bill.... How come I'm never one of those people who wins the "Visa will pay your monthly bill" contests?

It would really come in handy right now.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's alive!!!

Yes, I have recovered. And remarkably, I still have a job to go to!!!!

You know you're really sick when.....

  • On day 5 of a new job you tell them you're crook (Aussie slang for sick) and go home
  • On day 6 you text your boss telling her you're still sick
  • On day 5 & 6 you don't feel guilty about calling in sick
  • On day 4 you go to bed at 8 pm
  • On the morning of day 5 you sit outside on the jet cat because you think sitting inside might make you chuck (yet, somehow you convince yourself that that's normal....)
  • On the morning of day 5 you take twice as long to walk from the ferry to your office because during/after your coughing jags you stop and lean against office buildings to keep yourself upright/regain your strength
  • On day 5 you arrive at work and run your hands through your hair only to discover that the hair closest to your head is soaking wet - this being from fever seeing as you (a) completely blow dried your hair before leaving your apartment and (b) had it 'blow dried' on the morning jet cat because you were sitting outside.
  • When your boss calls, you actually agree to go see a doctor (something I hate to do)
  • You think you've finished throwing up, but once you stand up to rinse your hot face off, you realise that, no, really, you're not finished.
  • You go to the grocery store to buy ginger ale and milk for tomato soup (feel better foods) and as you're leaving the grocery store you initially mistake the leaked milk on your pants to be vomit and somehow are not either surprised and/or grossed out, but just resigned...
  • You basically sleep for 30 hours straight and still feel too tired to get up
  • You get up to go watch tv and discover that you're too sick to watch tv.

Too sick to watch tv??????? Now, that's sick!

Monday, September 12, 2005

To the young boy on the ferry...

I don't know if your mother told you this or not, but even though you're sitting outside and its a cold night, YOU WEREN'T ALONE!! You should already know this, but its just not okay to be in out in public and put your hands down your pants and fondle yourself. You know I saw that you were still in your sports clothes (looked like you were on your way home from a basketball game) and maybe you had an itch - but it's still not okay to put your hands down your pants in public. I mean, maybe an unobtrusive little scratch would be okay if you were really itchy.

But that's it.

And the poor person you were talking to on the phone. A girl wouldn't have been impressed and a guy (especially if he was a jock like you) would have been offended - unless of course you were having phone sex, but seeing as I was listening to my mp3 player I have no idea if you were or not - but that there brings us to a whole other layer of things you shouldn't be doing in public....

Sigh - and you only looked about 17. I don't know if there's any hope for you still or if it's just all downhill from here. Here's hoping someone has the courage to tell you that what you're doing is wrong next time you slip your hands down your pants in public.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Red Haired Men - I Like 'Em

And today's little escapade just further endeared them to me.

See, after going on my cliff walk (see below) I dropped my friend off at her house and headed home. While stopped at a red light, I was flicking radio stations and wasn't fully paying attention (more specifically hadn't noticed that sign saying I could turn left on a red light after stopping....) to the world around me, until the car behind me beeped at me.

Now, when I said I wasn't paying attention to the world around me - well, I still managed to notice the the ute beside me with the two burly boys with the cowboys hats and lovely biceps.....

Well, the horn beeping gave me a little start and I kind of inched forward - but there was far too much traffic to actually make the turn. And it seems that while I was noticing the boys, they were noticing me - well they noticed me start a little - and the boy closest took his cowboy hat off, leaned at the window and turned to the driver in the car behind me and asked him what was the hurry was. They had a little back and forth and then he looked at me and said "just take your time miss - no hurry. It was wrong of him to rush you."

My hero.

My hero with red hair.


Australia the beautiful

Some days I make the best decisions. Like Friday when I arranged with a friend to do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk today. Figured that a little exercise combined with a little sunshine would be the best cure to rid me of the lingering remnants of jetlag (it's seriously going on forever!!!)

Man, I was right.

An absolutely beautiful day: blue skies and warm weather. Nothing like wearing shorts and a t-shirt and feeling warm in September. Hmmmm, summer's on its way!

The view from the cliffs was amazing. The white sand, the turquoise shallows and the royal blue deep waters liberally sprinkled with the dark specks that were the surfers (great waves today....)

Next time I'm going to be one of those surfers!!

Australia - it really is truly beautiful.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Manly Markets

I mean Manly as in Sydney's Manly, not macho Manly. I mean, it'd be a hard sell to call the markets 'Manly' when they they primarily sell arts and crafts and/or jewelry...

Today, I figured that the best cure for my lingering jetlag and chest cough (whine, whine, whine) was to wander out in the beautiful sunny day I awoke to this morning (high of 31 degrees today - how sweet is that??).

Funnily enough that took me through the markets. Imagine that?

An hour later, I'd walked off the remaining fuzziness of jetlag and lightened my wallet considerably - with a really great necklace to show for it (I'm a necklace addict...)

Aaahhhh. it's good to be home.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Your ship is about to sail in"

"You've given up hope", she said, "but too early! See - look at the card - in the background a ship is about to sail in."

Yup. I'm weak. I've indulged once again in my private addiction .

But it couldn't be helped!

See, when I was home, I went out for dinner with two of my girlfriends for a "catch up" at one of my old haunts, Southern Accent. (One of the great things about being home is that you get to pick the restaurant!) Naturally, I chose the cool little Cajun place with good food, great atmosphere and - as luck would have it - a tarot card reader! Imagine that! So how could I not go? Really....that would almost be rude. Wouldn't it?

So, the gist of my reading was all good (no wonder I'm addicted!) Apparently - as mentioned earlier - my ship is about to sail in! More specifically, I'm to expect a ring sometime in April. (The funny thing is both my mom and my best friend have separately come to the conclusion (and independently of the aforementioned tarot reading) that I'm going to get married next year. Hmmm.... methinks I should try dating first.... but hey, maybe an arranged marriage is just what I need!) However, since the psychic lady said that I already know this man (note: this is the first time ANY psychic has said that! so far from the usual "you haven't yet met" crap I'm used to hearing...) the theories and guesses that have abounded since then from friends and family are numerous. There are two distinct camps: one with all my friends who think it's this guy I mentioned in passing (commented on what a great butt he has) and there there's my mother who has decided its someone who I'd have thought she would consider unsuitable.

Now most people would go with the majority, however, there is a small twist. See, according to my mother the other night,while she was heavily under the influence of wine (hysterically funny because she's usually such a teetotaler!) she admitted/confessed that she's "a touch" psychic. (I'm thinking just "touched"....) Now how can you argue with that?

Well time will tell. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

In other news, this psychic saw that I was changing jobs, that I'd really love it because - for once - I found a place I belonged. I'd make two really great friends there and I will be well liked, invested in and promoted.

So, all in all, I'll have a good job, "real" love and I'd finally feel settled.

I now have a new favourite psychic. Too bad she's in Canada! But then again, on second thought.......

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I've just put on my extra big pants...

...and they're no longer extra big.

Seems I had too good of a time on vacation.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm apologising in advance...

For many things, but specifically:
  • for not talking to everyone I should have while home (pretty rich from the girl who bitched about friends not having time for me before I left for home!)
  • and for being sentimental - because I believe that is how this entry is going to be....

For those I've missed - and you know who you are because you've called and traded messages with me and/or had a very short conversation on the phone AND you read this blog - I am truly sorry. I have no idea where the time went, I just know I wasn't sitting around much (though the increase in the girth of my ass over the last few weeks might indicate otherwise...)And as long as the new job doesn't interfere - I'll be home at Christmas. A short visit, but one where I'll make you two a priority. Please tell me you're grabbing that olive branch!!!!

Now for the sentimentality. Well, going home has been really good for me. It's helped sort a few things out in my head and I feel more settled and/or at peace than I have been in I don't know how long. I'm not sure if Australia is meant to be my lifelong home, but I do know I'm not ready to move back to Canada yet...

Don't get me wrong - I love Canada (and so does the U.S. customs official I met today. Seriously after he waved me through, he said "Don't forget home. It's a great place - I love your country!)

How nice is that?

But I digress (again....) Canada will always be home - just right now it's not the only one.

So how did I come to feel so settled? Well, it was more than just one thing. It didn't really happen in the first couple of weeks, but it began after I dropped my U.S. visitor off at the airport last Sunday morning. It was quite early and as I was driving back to Mom's, it was still so quiet - hardly anyone was out and about. I drove around the old neighbourhood and found/renewed and appreciation for the beauty of the area where I grew up: quiet, residential streets, lined with beautiful old trees that provided a canopy of green that I've just never found anywhere else. My meandering of the neighbourhood unconsciously brought me to a place I hadn't seen in almost twenty years: the cemetery. A place I hadn't been since my father's funeral.

It's strange, I'm not really one for the physical reminders of the dead. Cemeteries, headstones don't really hold any special allure or magic for me, but my disquieted subconscious brought me there - so I wasn't going to avoid it. Remarkably - despite not having been there in what at times seems like forever, I found the grave quite easily. It was such a peaceful morning - no one else was there - and the beauty of Canada showed through even in such a sad place with gorgeous trees and dew soaked grass. I glanced at my father's name, simplistically yet elegantly etched on the stone, then lightly patted the top of the market, said "hey", paused a moment then walked back to my car.

That was all either he or I needed. Truly, that's the best way I can explain it.

The peaceful easy feeling grew with five days at the cottage with my best friend, her husband and their three kids. It's so nice to spend extended time periods with friends because then there's no pressure to try and fit everything in - and the relaxed atmosphere of the cottage makes it so enjoyable.

You know, usually when I leave (especially the cottage) I get a little sad or choked up - it never matters how ready I am to go back - but this time it was different. For the first time, I didn't feel the need to say a mental, heartfelt goodbye. It's almost like Toronto and the cottage are old friends - I'll miss them, but I'll see them again.

And that's how I feel about my friends - I'll them them, but I'll see them again - there's no need to hold so tight, because they aren't going anywhere - they're only a plane ride (albeit, a lone one) away.

Sorted. Finally.