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  1. Furnishings for Sanity
    I have been going mental for the last couple of weeks, because there are items that I know made it back here from the States that have seemingly vanished into thin air. Items like all the paperwork for my new bank account, the decoration from The Iron Gate, and in particular, all the wedding photos I had printed over there.

    The ultimate problem is that we live in this cute little house that has no storage whatsoever. No closets. No cupboards except in the kitchen. No nothing. It’s driving me crazy. (Bear in mind, in my last townhouse, I even put my dresser INSIDE my closet; it was so big.)

    We’ve done as best we can, but I’m going crazy with the clutter and lack of anything to do with that clutter.

    So yesterday, I declared that if Hans is spending the whole weekend with his mistress (read: his video clip), then I want a filing cabinet so I can put some order back into my life. And last night we bought one. Just like that.

    We had gone to IKEA last Sunday, and as much as I wanted it to fulfill all of my furniture dreams, it just didn’t. The sheer number of people in there made me never to want to ever buy anything from there again. Ever. It made me feel all dirty and trendy.

    Last night we went to Freedom, and I fell in love. I want to say it is as close to West Elm as Australia is ever going to get. (As we were jumping from couch to couch, Hans said, “This place makes IKEA look like a cheap whore.” So true, my dear. So true.) Not only did we buy a three-drawer filing cabinet on the spot, but we also found the white apothecary cabinet of my dreams. (I’d link to it, but no stores in this country seem to grasp the idea of putting their inventory online, much less making it available to order from this here interweb thing.)

    So suddenly we’re furnishing our home with real furniture that WE are picking out. It’s kind of exciting.

    Linky Links
    Now Look What You Did: Two great motion graphics pieces that address two of my greatest pet-peeves.

    Boomshine: Flash game addiction. Set off chain reactions. I’ve completed Level 12 twice, but I’ve never had a boomshine (where you get all the dots).

    An Early Conversation
    Him: Come ooooon. Geeeeet up. Your coffee is by the bed getting cold.
    Me: It’s already cold.
    Him: I’ll even go put it in the microwave. (from the kitchen) But don’t think that this is a reward for sleeping in.

    I think I’m officially over jetlag, and now this early morning business is getting increasingly difficult.

    The Wii vs. PS3 Debate Continues
    Hans and his brother have these wacky notions that we’re all going to go in together and buy the latest gaming systems to “share”. Sure. That’s fine. They can plan all they want.

    I was a real skeptic when it came to the Wii. I wasn’t interested in having to work for my gaming pleasure. Isn’t the whole reason you play games so that you can sit around and be lazy? I don’t know. But then when I heard about the price difference and after hearing some people get really excited about the Wii, then I have to admit that I got on board and would have supported a Wii purchase.

    Then America happened (and we almost bought the Wii accessories there to save money)… and then we sort of fell in love with our DSs and didn’t really need another new toy right away.

    Then I saw the demo for LittleBigPlanet. Now I’m back in the PS3 camp.

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  2. It Really Was Spectacular
    These are my thoughts regarding the Australian Outback Spectacular.

    • The preshow part wasn’t my favorite, because I had a splitting headache at the time. The area was like the inside of a barn, with real horses in the stables, so the horse smell didn’t really make me feel like it was time to eat.
    • There was a horse named Mystery… which is what we call the palomino that lives next door. (reference)
    • As for the show itself, it really was a fun time. This article has a great summary of the show. Great horsemanship. Fun contests. Lots of cheering. (The wine probably helped.) There was a cute little sheepdog mustering a herd of sheep. There were even camel races.
    • We learned that Australia has more wild camels than anywhere else in the world, and we even export them to Arabia.
    • We agreed that the Pirates’ set was more impressive, but the Outback seating was a bit nicer.
    • Before we went inside, we had a bet to see who could guess how many times the Man from Snowy River themesong would be played. Hans won with 3.
    • Did I mention that we all got a free stockman’s hat? We were on the yellow side.

    Overall, I’d highly recommend going at least once. It’s kind of spendy, but when you consider how many people and animals (horses, longhorns, sheep, cows, dogs, camels) are involved, it doesn’t seem so bad.

    English Consolidation Society
    My brother-in-law and I always need something to fight about, so we’re now doing what we can to combine Australian and American English.

    These are the terms (in bold) that have won so far:
    Q-tips vs. Cotton buds
    Kleenex vs. Tissues
    Cellphone vs. Mobile

    Today we are battling fruits:
    Cantaloupe vs. Rockmelon
    Papaya vs. Paw Paw

    UPDATE: I believe I have just received an email of concession on the rockmelon issue, as Victoria even calls them cantaloupes. If the whole of Australia doesn’t bother using the term, then I don’t think he has a leg to stand on.

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  3. Procrastinator Stress
    I attempted to file my taxes today. Still a U.S. Citizen. Still paying U.S. taxes. Still technically self-employed. Still wondering whether the little I make is worth the hassle come April.

    Weekend Perks

    • Watched two movies this weekend that we bought in the States… The Score and The Saint. I have loved The Saint since the day I first saw it. Only now I realize how bad Val’s Aussie accent is. Hehe.
    • We’re going to Ikea this afternoon. My goal is to come back with some sort of device to put extra clothes in and a filing cabinet. That’s all I want in this world. Pretty much.
    • Outback Spectacular tonight. Huzzah!

    Free Eric Volz
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YChhOHrFA4]

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  4. Totally Geeky Voiceover
    Eeee… well I just did my voiceover. Turns out that it’s for a company called Battlefield Sports, and it is going to be used in a game. Wheee! I got to say six or seven phrases like “No Ammunition”, “Reload”, “Dead Already”, “Casualty”, and “Mission Complete”. The lady told me my character is a young American fighter. Hehe. I love it.

    Anyway… show tonight. I’m tired already. Could be a busy weekend as well. We’re going to the Gold Coast on Sunday for the Australian Outback Spectacular. I’m expecting it to be like Pirates… except we get a free hat with our ridiculously-priced admission. Review forthcoming.

    Two commands. Watch this. Love them.

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  5. I [Have] An Everlasting Love
    Am I a bad wife if a little tiny part of me wants to skip the show on Thursday because HOWARD JONES is going to be in town? Oh my gosh. Legendary.

    And speaking of favourites from the past, PM freaking DAWN is playing in Sydney on the 1st. There’s no way I could ever get there, but I’m still excited.

    Pays to Be American
    The audio engineer we work with asked me today if I might be available this week to record a voiceover. His client has an American accent she normally uses, but that person lives a bit far away for such a little job. So I might get paid to read six lines in my native accent. Now I’m concerned I won’t sound authentic, since my new year’s resolution was to embrace the Australian accent and vernacular this year.

    Linky Links
    www.washyourhands.tv – 92% of guys said they washed. 34% were lying.

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  6. I Try Things So You Don’t Have To
    The past couple weeks have been a little experimental around here.

    First Hans, Alyda & I decided to give this new Mother energy drink a try. I was informed by someone, who apparently has no taste buds, that it tastes a bit like Dr. Pepper. Eager to have a readily available Dr. Pepper stand-in, I was gung-ho. Perhaps it would have been more tolerable if it had been much colder, but it just had an overall flavour of yuck followed by an aftertaste of sharp cold medicine. There was nothing Dr. Peppery about it. Needless to say, it was a very disappointing experience all around.

    Then the other night Hans and I ordered one of the new Cheesy Bites pizzas from Pizza Hut. (I think the Australian version appears to be different from the American version, because we only have 16 cheese knobules as opposed to your 28 little stickies.) Instead of being ooey-gooey cheese goodness, ours came nearly charred, and while I have no doubt there was once cheese inside the little cheese poofs, there was hardly anything left but a rubbery residue. Not exactly what Jessica made it look like on the television.

    In Summery:
    MOTHER does not know best.
    CHEESY BITES bite.

    Weekend Update

    • I’m happy to report that the “Big Job” at work is finished, and we went out for dinner on Friday to celebrate good times. (I’m also happy to report that the toilet it fixed at Hog’s Breath so I can go back.)
    • Last night we had a big to-do at the Holiday Inn for my brother-in-law’s organization. There was good food. Good jazz band. And got to wear my new Banana Republic skirt I got back home.
    • Now I think I’m going to go sit out on the veranda with my Caramel Rooibos tea and my Bill Bryson book.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  7. Pirates? Where?
    My sister sent me this trailer for a movie made by a local college professor. It looks SO CUTE! And half those places I recognized and have been to.

    Sidebar Updates
    I decided to lose some of my links on the right, as they have gone dead for months on end. Sorry, Matt, NK, Pauley & Niki. Such is life. But I added a new section for expats. I read Web-Goddess religiously and find great humor in Notes from a New Country. I was going to put Ed in Oz, but he retired just this week. Oh well.

    Ant Update
    Day four, and all is well. Eeeeeeee!

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  8. It’s Hot. It’s Too Hot. It’s Too Darn Hot.
    It’s 38.4 degrees here right now. That’s 101.12 to most of you who read this. Our little air conditioner in the bedroom is doing its best to crank out a little cool, but I’m dying in the living room.

    (Chucky’s in the house moving from one corner of the kitchen to another trying to find more cool tile space.)

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  9. The Phant Menace
    So in the continuing ant saga, Wednesday was bad. Thursday was worse. And Friday the exterminator came.

    We got home last night to find a powdery white substance along all our baseboards and countertops. A substance I’m told not to wipe up for another day. The hypochondriac in me feels the cancer soaking in, but the good news is that there isn’t a single ant on this block of land. Neither have I seen a single spider. And I saw more dead cockroach carcasses in the garage than I care to mention. I’m thrilled, to say the least.

    The problem now is that sitting on the couch we’ve both had moments where we felt phantom ants, “phants” if you will, on our feet or legs. It’s a problem I’m sure we’ll learn to deal with, but it seems sad that our bodies are so used to that feeling that we’re making it up on our own now.

    Lost in Translation
    road works (roed wircz)
    n. road construction
    “The traffic was so slow due to road works.”

    Cute Animation Alert
    I came across the Minuscule videos online yesterday and just about died from the cuteness.

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  10. New Addiction
    “Addiction” might be a strong word, but I’m really digging wikimapia.com. It’s Google Earth mixed with Wikipedia, and their slogan I saw somewhere is “Describe the Earth”. So you can find places on the Google Earth part, and then label then by adding your own knowledge like Wikipedia. You can even upload photos. It’s kind of fun.

    Captive Chucky
    Yesterday we got home only to find Chucky the outdoor cat… inside. We did a quick sniff test and made sure that nothing had been clawed to shreds, but I think he must have just slept the whole day on the couch like he does when I’m sitting there with him. That’s all.

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  11. The Three Things That Keep Me from Posting
    1. The heat.
    2. The work.
    3. The ants.

    The Plague
    I’ve mentioned my ant issues at least once before, but the past couple weeks have proven to be too much for me. I prefer to live with a nice, clean, bug-free kitchen… otherwise I simply do not want to cook. Knowing bugs may possibly have been roaming free on those surfaces makes me want to scrub everything down before using it ever again.

    So recently we’ve had ants showing up everywhere, and yesterday I broke down and cried. Not only were they in our kitchen, but they got into our food. And it’s not like the food was setting out; I’m talking about unopened packaged food that was in a cupboard. And not just any cupboard; I’m talking about the Homesick/American Food cupboard. (It pained me to throw out two boxes of wheat thins, a box of jello-brand cheesecake, and two boxes of velveeta, among other things. I cried.) Not just once, but we found them three times in various places yesterday, and I’m over it.

    We’re finding an exterminator.

    Here We Go, Bullets, Here We Go!
    Friday night I went to my first Brisbane Bullets basketball game. The people I went with, on the other hand, went to their first basketball game. First. Ever. You know it’s a sad day, when I am the resident expert on any sport.

    I got to explain everything… from the big arc that divides the three-point zone from the two-point zone to the concept of tip-off to the shot clock to the universal gesture for traveling. It was awesome.

    It was a pretty exciting game too. The local heroes have had a record-breaking season that landed them in the NBL Grand Finals. I believe this would be equivalent to the NBA Finals, but as Dan said, if the players were any good they would have been recruited to the States by now. Harsh… but possibly true? (see Luc Longley and Andrew Bogut for starters)

    Men Be Warned
    If feminine personal hygiene products offend you, go ahead and skip to the next header.

    I must say, when it comes to dealing with “that time of the month”, this company does it right. Moxie is an Australian company with, dare I say, the cutest feminine products. Panty Liners in cute little tins? So cute. And I especially love one of their posters that read: Have a Beautiful Day in Hell. Anyway, that’s my little endorsement.

    Speaking of Endorsements
    Go love Gotye. Add the myspace. Better yet, add this myspace to throw a vote that direction. Go watch the amazing video. Thank me later.

    A Conversation
    Him: (upon eating one of his first Bottle Caps ever) Wow, the root beer ones really taste like root beer.
    Me: And the snozberry ones taste like snozberries!

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