Canadian Down Under

Friday, April 28, 2006

Migrained Out

Kind of sums it up huh?

Hopefully I'll return to the land of the living tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'll be going Saturday

See post below.

Based on my friend's delightful summary listed in the comments... and the fact that I was basically told to grow up (yeah, I know that's not exactly what you said, but it works for me telling it that way)... and the fact my little sister wants to see it - I will be going to 'Eight Below' on Saturday.

I will let you know how it goes.

Or probably more accurately - how many tissues I ended up using....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Eight Below

So many things to blog about, so little time!!

Here are some topics I have on the 'to-write-about' list:
  • the play I saw last Saturday
  • hormones
  • blogger envy
  • my new little sister
  • and something else really good that I currently can't recall (perhaps it was about memory loss???? Man, that's lame....)

But what concerns me most at the moment - and what I desperately need an answer for is the following question: In the Disney movie "Eight Below", do any of the dogs die?

I need to know.

See - I have a new little sister (it makes more sense if you read here and here....) and we've talked about going to a movie this weekend and see Eight Below. See - the problem is - Disney movies make me cry and I don't want my new little sister to think I'm a complete loser, so I believe that if I'm prepared ahead of time, I will manage to make it through without a 13 year old laughing at me.

Desperate times.

A friend suggested I call the movie theater and ask - saying I was bringing a young girl that is terribly attached to animals and might be traumatized if one dies.

One way to get 36 to be considered young......

Friday, April 21, 2006

Change of Plans?

One of the things I really try to do every year is visit somewhere I've never been before. Last year was Vietnam, the year before was South Africa and the year before that was New Zealand. This year I decided I was going to Ireland.

I've always wanted to go to Ireland. My dad was part Irish (but born in Canada) and I'd heard how beautiful it was there and it is just one of those places that really intrigues me. In fact, I thought Ireland would be a great place to go on a honeymoon (I have NO idea why) so I never really planned a trip there, but always thought I would go one day. Well.... the thing is, I still want to go and at the rate I'm going, I'll be dead before I ever go on a honeymoon, so I thought - what the fuck? Why am I waiting? If you want to go - just go.

And so... I've been tentatively planning in my head to go to Ireland this August, but I haven't done anything concrete yet - like buy a plane ticket (but I have bought a Lonely Planet...). And see, the problem with tentative is, it's just that, tentative. It leaves you open to changes....

So, the other day I was in the local Newsagent's/book store and came across a coffee table book put out by the Lonely Planet group: it's a picture book of all the cities in the world and each city has two pages devoted to it. (Let me tell you, they don't do Toronto justice, however, my Scottish friend thinks they're bang on for Glasgow.) As I was flipping through the pages, I came across the pages for Katmandu.

I want to go there.

I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I should hold off on Ireland a little while longer and go to Nepal this year instead of Ireland. I mulled this over in my head for a while and was almost at the deciding point when I read the newspapers. Know what was in the headlines the next day? Protests, rioting and deaths in Nepal.

Thinking my change of plans need to be changed again. Ireland is now back on the agenda.

Monday, April 17, 2006

To my American friends:

You really need a new government! Do you know what it's saying about you? And I quote:

The reputation of the ugly American abroad is not just some cruel
stereotype. Rather, says the United States Government, it is worryingly

This in the Sydney Morning Herald today. Advice highlights from the article are as follows:
  • Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller.
  • Listen at least as much as you talk.
  • Save the lectures for your kids.
  • Think a little locally. Try to find a few topics that are important in the local popular culture.
  • Slow down We talk fast, eat fast, move fast, live fast. Many cultures do not.
  • Speak lower and slower.
  • Your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs.
  • If you talk politics, talk - don't argue. Agree to disagree.

Really, I'm speechless. I'd make a joke, but..... No. I'm speechless.

Full article here: A Quiet Word to Loud Americans

Friday, April 14, 2006

I should not be let out.

or at least not let out on a bike.

Jen - you're going to love this one....

So I made mention recently of my new bike purchase. Yeah, yeah, it's was mostly about how the bike people scared me, but its all fixed up now and ready for me to ride. Once I got comfortable with Mr. Bike Man, I was all like 'I need clip pedals because that's what I used to have and can't really remember how to ride without them." Yadda, yadda. I'm so obnoxious sometimes I can barely stand myself.....

So today's Good Friday out here which means its holiday time for Sydney's tourist mecca: the beach on the last nice weekend of the year. And its a beauty of a day here - 27 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze - but not too cold a breeze, calm ocean - great for paddling in (which I did do today) - so the streets are fairly crowded and the corso (kind of like an outdoor mall with interlocking stones on the street with no cars) is completely chockers.

Now I live one block from the beach and one block from the corso - and due to the geography of Manly (which I can't explain because, as I told some guy once, if I hadn't cheated in Grade 8 geography, I would have failed) no matter what route I decided to take for my maiden bike adventure, I would ride past the corso. Which is something I manage to do only because I have to.

See, I'm usually a pretty shy exerciser. I like to run at night because then people can't see me if the sun's not out (amazing how close this is to the dog's logic that if he shuts his eyes while sitting on the couch, no one will see him and he won't get in trouble); I generally wear black clothes because it makes me harder to see (or at the very least thinner...) as long as its not too hot, and I don't have equipment that's too flash - I leave that to the experts - don't want to increase the chances of making an ass of myself.

Like today.

Now, it is true that I wore clip shoes for years on my bike I had in Canada, but it is also true that it's been years since I've ridden that bike and/or clip shoes.

Until today.

Now it is true that my clips were old so they put new ones on - and probably an upgraded version of what I had before, but it is also true that they operated much in the same manner as my old clips.

Not today.

Today I rode my bike that one short block towards the beach. Turned left at the corner and half a block down, the light at the end of the corso that allows pedestrians to cross to the beach - which, as Sod's Law would have it - turned red. I had to stop. Stopping involves just that: stopping. Stopping on a bike also involves putting your foot down on the ground.

Very hard to do if you can't get your foot out of the clip pedals.

Do you know what happens if you can't get your foot out of clip pedals when your bike comes to a complete halt? You fall over.

Me? I fall over in front of literally hundreds of people.

Still in my clips.

Picture this: me lying half on the curb, half on the street, basically strapped into my bike with tourists and cars going around me as I struggled to get my feet free. Ever have moments where 60 seconds feels like a decade? Think I aged 20 years today...

Hopefully my braided hair, bike helmet and sunglasses was enough to disguise me. Certainly no one stopped to say hi.

I've heard it's hard to speak while laughing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I just don't get it

A while ago I wrote this post about the fuckwit. I won't rehash it all here again, but at the end of the day, I figured where we left it was pretty final: I wrote him and told him I didn't just sleep around and then pretend nothing happened; that I didn't think I could do the 'friends' thing. He never answered me. The silence was deafening and although I was hurt by his inability to respond to even say he was sorry, after a time I let it go.

Two months have passed and guess what? He text me the other weekend to ask if I wanted to go to dinner. I was away - and in the midst of a veritable brawl with my brother - that I just simply said I was away and nothing more.

Two weeks on, I get an email at work today asking if I was around this weekend. I simply answered 'yes'. And then?

Nothing. Complete silence.

So, I know I should have left it alone, but really, why now? Over the last two weeks, its flittered in and out of my consciousness and yet again, I was starting to let it go when he emailed today. I don't know what his intent was, but he's gotten under my skin. It's like having a scab that's healing and now it's starting to itch. As a kid with mosquito bites, my mom used to have to tie mittens on my hands when I went to bed so I didn't scratch in my sleep.... Not much has changed over the years.

So I sent him a text basically asking why he asked if I was around - was there a reason other than trying to decide whether he should stay in town or not. He answered that he was going to ask me to brunch, but based on my response he thought I'd probably say no.


Obviously not dealing with Einstein here am I?

I sent him a message back saying I just didn't understand why he's asking. No response.

I just don't get it.

Why make such a half-ass effort? Did he expect a warm welcome after how we'd left it? If so, why? But more importantly, why do I care?

He either needs to be a man and really make an effort or simply leave me alone. This wishy washy half-ass stuff is doing in my head.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Laura special

So I get home today after a long day at work.... (oh yeah, I'm laughing...) Well, that's if you call getting your eyebrows done hard work... Mind you, I did do that after 5.

Anyway, I was supposed to go for a run tonight, but my running partner bailed. I was going to go on my own, but I started to think about what I'd like for dinner - and the image of 3 Duck Spice played about in my head and the lure of their takeaway food took control. I have postponed my run to Friday (Thursday is swim day) and decided to eat my heart out tonight.

Buoyed with excitement, I hurriedly stripped off my suit and pulled on my running shorts and Canada shirt. (It's my favourite shirt - got it from Roots while home - it's white with silver writing: Canada across the chest with "true north, strong & free" on the sleeve) Yeah, yeah, I know I wasn't going running - but wearing the running shorts counts for something doesn't it????

So, I order my food and stand by the counter waiting. Just behind me and to my right are tables and I kind of do some people watching to kill time. The man from the couple to my right gets up to order some drinks from the counter and while he's there, the woman he was having dinner with says:

"Hey, you."

I look around and see her bending her finger at me. You know the way you mother used to when you were a kid when she wanted you to come over? I kind of do the 'me?' thing and she nods 'yes'. I edge over to her table and she says to me, "is that a tag hanging from you shirt.... " and her voice tails off as I quizzically look at her while reaching for the back of my shirt when it dawns on me....and at the same time, it dawns on her.....

We both start to laugh.

My shorts are inside out.

Her husband comes back and she whispers to him that I'm weaing my shorts inside out. (Thanks. Not.) So I stage whisper, "just don't tell anyone else." He whispers back, "your secret is safe with me."

I walk home with my shirt pulled as far down over my ass as possible.

Someone's going to enrol me in a 'special' program soon....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I like Ike. My bike likes Ike.

As mentioned in this earlier post, it damn hard to do a triathlon without a bike so I did some research on buying a road bike and found out the cheapest I could get was about $900. Used bikes were impossible to find, but then last weekend I lucked across this wholesale place out near the airport and got a brand new bike for the price of a used one.


Picked it up Saturday and went for my first spin Sunday. Only problem was, with it being a wholesaler and all, they didn't fit it to me, so I had to shorten my ride and go to a local bike shop to get it sized up - or risk doing some serious damage to some very special parts of me...

Now I usually come across as fairly confident and sure of myself, but at the bike shop these guys were experts/fanatics and it made me uncomfortable. They kept looking at the bike and muttering to themselves and asking me questions like "where'd you get this" or "why didn't they fit you" really gruffly so I just got them to adjust the seat and I bolted. I bolted before I fixed the handlebars, the pedals or got a water bottle thingy.

I'm such a yellow belly.....

But today - while working from home - I somehow discovered that the bike adjustments weren't enough to make the ride comfortable. (How did that happen? I was working so diligently from home - how did I end up on my bike?) I just knew that if I didn't fix it, the pressure on my shoulders would make me mental - or at least start giving me migraines (something I have worked very hard at correcting in the last few months - which I will update you on soon....) so I had to suck it up and go back to the store.

Well, the guy there today was GREAT! Not only did he fix everything up in a totally co-operative and non-judgmental way, he kept saying "this is a great bike you have".

It's all good. Now? I like my bike. Carl likes my bike.

Have no idea what Ike thinks.....

Illegal = Criminal?

I was just watching the news tonight and one of the top stories was the protest rallies happening in the States about the status of illegal immigrants. Now, I know very little about the entire issue, but what struck me was when they interviewed one of the protestors, they were quoted as saying, "I just want Mr. Bush to know we're not criminals."

Now correct me if I'm wrong but if something is illegal, it is not legal. And if something is not legal - does that not then mean that it's criminal?

I understand something of the plight of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and how badly they are exploited - and I do understand the reasoning that illegal immigrants are essential to the U.S. economy, I just think that illegal immigrant need to come up with a better argument. An illegal immigrant arguing that they are 'not criminal' is pretty weak...

And yes, I do expect to be summarily slaughtered for expressing such a conservative view on a blog.....

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Driving Range

Every trip home, I manage to have that extra little bit of space to bring something back. Like last summer, I brought out the remainder of my CD collection and this Christmas, after emptying out all the gifts I brought home from me and my brother I had enough room for a rug. Yes, I said a rug. My Navaho rug (which, incidentally looks fabulous in my flat....) Despite having brought back a rug, I only had one suitcase (hey - I backpacked for years, I know how to pack light) but I was allowed two - so I brought back my golf clubs.

Since then, my golf clubs have been languishing in a corner of my living room - well, they got moved to the closet ever so briefly when I had a guest - but generally they've been languishing in a corner of the room until yesterday, so I hauled them out.

Oh - a tangent! - when getting my clubs out back home, I was looking for the cover and remembered having put it in one of the pockets of the bag itself but it took me forever to find because I had to shift through everything that was in there, which included:
- golf tees (normal)
- golf balls (normal)
- pink golf ball (not normal)
- golf glove (normal)
- wood covers (normal)
- epiPen (explainable - allergic to bees)
- gum (questionable)

- hairbrush (?)
- concealer (?)
- lipstick (?)
- plus many other strange miscellaneous items...

You would have thought I was heading off to a ball with some of that crap. No wonder the bag was so heavy.

But back to my main story - yesterday I hauled out the clubs and went to the driving range. (No easy feat here because they're really not that many around, strangely enough.) Just wanted to test out my swing - see, if I still had it.

So after numerous wrong turns (have I ever mentioned that anytime I go anywhere here in Sydney, I get lost? In fact, it's happened so often that here at work they laugh when they give directions because they know I'm going to make a wrong turn somewhere. But I digress....) I finally found the driving range. I paid for my bucket of balls and the young kid at the counter explained to me how to use it. "Put the bucket on the hooks, type in a code number and the machine will fill up your bucket." Easy.

Except I didn't notice that there were two sets of hooks that matched up to the two keypads and that the hooks for the matching keypad were to the left, not the right.


Which meant that while my basket was sitting on one set of hooks over an opening to the right, the golf balls were pouring out of the other opening on my left. Pouring out all over the pavement....

Oh yeah - and you know what? Yelling 'shit' on a quiet driving range does not draw attention to yourself. Right. But one nice man started to explain to me what I should do (yeah, I figured it out by then, but at least he tried to help me) and after I had picked up all the errant balls and put the basket on the correct hook and the machine finished filling, I tried to quietly walk to one of the practice tees - which was tough, because I was laughing at myself - without being noticed, but there was this man with his dad walking towards me. I could tell they were looking at me, but I was trying to be nonchalant. But I just couldn't help myself, I looked up as they were going past and the man caught my eye, smiled at me and said, "Don't worry, it's happened to us all at least once."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Care Package

I got the best care package the other week. My visitor from home sent me a package once she got back to Canada with little bits of home as a thank you. (Let me tell, if all visitors are as good as her AND send care packages I WANT MORE VISITORS!!!)

Okay - that was a tangent. So what did she send me? A MEC backpack. Perfect size for hiking - which is what it is meant for. (For the non-Canadians out there: MEC = Mountain Equipment Co-op, a Canadian sporting goods store). I also got pictures which I love, books which I'll comment on in a moment and magnets! Not just any magnets - CANADIAN magnets: a beaver, a flag, a map of Canada and an 'Eh'. So now all my friends kids photos are properly stuck to the fridge as opposed to the ramshackle mess they used to be posted only on a wing and a prayer.....

But best of all? A card came with it with the nicest of messages. All in all - amazingly good.

So now I'm addicted to care packages.

I want more.

So if anyone is feeling at all inspired - here are some things I'd like from Canada:
- Crest cinnamon toothpaste (truly, I'm not kidding)
- Degree invisible deorderant - cool cotton scent (again, not kidding)
- any kind of tea from
- Excel Polar Ice gum
- Anything maple flavoured
- Pictures
- Canadian paraphenalia
- Black underwear from the Gap - the kind with no elastic in it.
- anything else you can think of that I might like.

I must admit. I'll be so shocked if I get anything... But its worth a shot!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What I didn't buy


  • Chocolate Easter egg
  • Toblerone bar
  • Snickers
  • Honey and Soy Chicken chips
  • Cornetto mini-cones
  • Nutra-Grain snack bars (covered in chocolate so not as healthy as they sound) or
  • the Mint Slice cookies - which were on sale

I am so proud of myself!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A bad weekend

How you know it's going to be a bad weekend?

As you're waiting to catch the ferry for the first leg of the journey to the airport, you feel something on your foot, you look down and it's a cockroach.

How you know it was a bad weekend?

You see a card that reads:

"I'm a nobody. Who are you? Are you a nobody too?"

And you can so relate that you have to buy the card.

And if that wasn't enough, you also buy an inspirational mug in the airport while waiting for your return flight that reads:
"go for long walks, indulge in hot baths, question assumptions, be
kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, scream, curse the world, count
your blessings, just let go, just be."

Just because you need some positive thoughts in your life.

No details as yet. In a few days maybe.