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  1. Lost in Translation: Lollypop Lady

    lollypop lady (loll ee pop lay de)
    n. a crossing guard
    “Wait for the lollypop lady to stop traffic and blow her whistle before you cross the road.”

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  2. Name That Tune

    iden.tify.us: People helping people identify music. Google can only help so much when you’re searching for music, mostly because you need to know what you’re looking for. That’s where iden.tify.us comes in. You can upload a snippet, and people will help you figure out what it is.

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  3. Pride: In the Name of Love

    My main man is on the front page of Triple J Unearthed at the moment. (Triple J is one of the national radio stations, and Unearthed is for mostly undiscovered bands.) So yeah, he works really hard at what he does. And though on rare occasions I feel like music/graphics widow, I really am proud of him and think he deserves the recognition.

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  4. Attack of the Birds

    I have been warned of the dangers of walking under a magpie’s nest during nesting season. Apparently every Australian kid has a story about getting swooped by an overprotective mother. I am appropriately wary and steer clear of them, and I thought I was good.

    That was until we discovered that there is a butcherbird along the path we walk to the train that has taken to swooping as well. At first I thought he was just confused or maybe attracted to Hans’s yellow t-shirt.

    But no…. today we were a little ways behind a guy, and I watched the bird come down and hover around the guy before taking off. And then to my absolute horror (HORROR!), it came back down again and actually pecked the guy in the back of the head.

    I hate birds. I really, really do.

    And Another Thing
    I hate Australian mosquitos. Mossies. Ugh. I’m dying here. I truly am scratching my flesh until I bleed. Hans says he had the same thing when he was in the States. They just have a different… what is that anyway? Venom? Saliva? Well whatever gets into the bites gives me huge welts.

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  5. Thunder Only Happens When It’s Raining

    We’ve had some lovely thunderstorms come through the area again. And yesterday the power was out at work for all but a couple hours. Gotta love that.

    In unrelated news, the coffee machine here doesn’t work anymore. Hence my lack of motivation to do anything.

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  6. Tripod Lovin’

    Last week I discovered Catch of the Day, which is like the Australian version of Woot!. The idea is the same for both. One product per day offered at bargain prices. COTD also has a section called “Small Fish” where they feature what I believe to be the leftovers. That’s when I saw the tripod I’ve been desiring… and for just $20AU — insanity!

    I told Hans about it, and he bought it for me. It came yesterday. Oh you know there’s going to be all kinds of self-portrait taking in our future! I had it hanging from the side of the doorframe in the kitchen the whole night, and it didn’t slip a millimeter.

    ** Get your own bendy Gorillapod Tripod by JOBY at Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Photographing.

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  7. Halloween Games

    It’s that time of year again for me to link to A Murder of Scarecrows, the beautiful flash game. Don’t miss Erin‘s bowling game too.

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  8. Cousins are Coming

    Relations will be on Australian soil Thursday night, spending one night before leaving on their cruise. In the meantime, I am booking flights to Sydney so we can spend a couple days with them after they dock and before they go back to Texas. Wanting to be at the same hotel, it looks like we might be staying here. Love it!

    Posted in Exploring.

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  9. Good to Be Alive

    Saturday night we were taking a cab home. It’s about a 30-minute drive, and shortly into it, Hans stopped mid-conversation and addressed the driver asking if he was okay. The driver said yes and that he was just unfamiliar with the freeway. From that point on, I watched him in the rearview mirror, and the guy was falling asleep! He kept tapping his forehead and shaking his head. It was only 11:00 at night. Hans also tried to engage him in conversation several times but to little result.

    We finally made it home, and Hans told him to make sure that it was his last fare and that he needed to go home. But when we got upstairs, he pulled away and turned his light back on. And not just that, but partly down the street he did a u-turn, which to us meant that he got a call to pick someone up.

    We felt bad for the guy, but we decided to call the company to basically dob him in. (I started memorizing the number of his cab the first time I saw his eyes roll back into his head.) I don’t know what kind of consequences he faces, but I said that it was one thing for us to be in the car and be aware of the situation. But there are people who call cabs because they are not able to get themselves home safely, and then to put their lives in this guy’s hands would be just as bad as if they drove their own drunk selves home.

    I can’t wait to get a car.

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  10. Beautiful Ad

    If you haven’t seen the video for “Power of Wind“, please go watch. My day is brighter.

    ** Check out the Woodstock Pachelbel Canon Windchime at Amazon.

    Posted in Inspired.

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  11. Tales from the Train

    I am so captivated by a saga that seems to be unfolding before me as we ride the train in the mornings.

    It started last week Tuesday, I believe. We started riding an earlier and emptier train, so when we get on there aren’t many people in the carriage. But I noticed a woman sitting in one of the four-person (where two seats face each other) seats next to me. I only took note because (1) there was a moth on the window next to her and (2) she had a real noticeable smokers’ cough.

    The next stop after ours, a man got on though I didn’t notice until later when he came down the aisle and sat down across from her.

    She kind of giggled and asked what he was doing. He made some comment about deciding to come and bother her again. And they proceeded to make small talk the rest of the way until we got off.

    Again, I really only took note, because the guy was telling some anecdote about an American judge suing a dry-cleaning company. Which, yes is a bit ridiculous. But I’m still sensitive about how the conversations always end with all kinds of blanket statements about Americans.

    So fine. Whatever. I presumed they had sat on the train near each other in the past and were on day number two of the awkward getting-to-know-you phase.

    Right, well on Wednesday we ended up sitting on the other side of this lady AGAIN when we got on the train. And again, at the stop after ours, the guy (who I’m now calling Mr. Burns, because he has 1.5-inch thick sideburns that go straight down from his temples to wrap under his jaw) gets on the train and makes his way through the carriage to sit across from the smoker lady, Ms. Coffsalot.

    On this day I take note that she does a lot of hair swishing and purposeful leaning and she echoes the ends of his statements. There was some definite flirting going on, and it was kind of grossing me out, but whatever.

    To Be Continued…
    Just found out that we’re calling a half-day sort of thing here, so I have to finish paying a few bills and make a deposit before we lock up.

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  12. Veni Vidi Vino

    Of course, last weekend was our Berry to Bottle Wine Appreciation day at Kooroomba Vineyard down south in the shire of Boonah. (A shire! I know!) It was such a lovely day. We had a tour of the vineyard. Had a gorgeous lunch. We were seated by the afternoon speaker, winemaker Dylan Rhymer, who indulged us by answering all our wine questions in between bites. Then after a walk around the lavender field, we came back to learn about wine tasting. I think we’re officially wine snobs now.

    It was fun. And we had a good time trying to really describe the smells of the wines. I know I used “freshly mowed lawn” and “dry-erase marker” at least once. Okay, so we might not have it down to a science yet.

    I’ll upload some photos soon.

    ** Check out this Wine Enthusiast Complete Wine Tasting and Aroma Kit at Amazon. It has scent bottles just like Luc in French Kiss!

    Posted in Cooking, Exploring.

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  13. Family Down Under

    The biggest pick-me-up came last weekend in the form of an email from my mom telling me that my cousins from Texas are coming down for a cruise around New Zealand at the end of this month. And they purposefully were planning a couple days at the end of their trip in Sydney with the hopes of seeing us. Problem being that Sydney and Brisbane are like my hometown and Nashville — we’re talking a 15-hour drive here. But Hans has said that we can fly down to spend a weekend with them. (And I am SO excited.)

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  14. Friends on TV

    Did all ya’ll watch Conan last night? If you missed it, you can apparently watch the whole episode online here… if you’re in America. That’s the 10/17 episode, Act 5 you’re looking for. I’m so proud of those guys.

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  15. Back in the Saddle and Ready to Ride

    So turns out I wasn’t really over whatever was ailing me before. Saturday ended with a horrible sore throat which morphed into the various stages of yucky cold/flu over the last several days.

    In the meantime I’ve had so much to write about. So we’ll see how much time I have now.

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  16. Too Long for Summer

    It’s cooler, lighter, and maybe six inches shorter.

    Posted in Creative, Nothing in Particular, Photographing.

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  17. Right Brain or Left Brain

    Have you all seen the spinning dancer silhouette? Which way does she turn for you? On my first take, she is always going clockwise. Though the other day after much eye-crossing and headache-suffering, I did manage to get her to flip.

    I guess I’m a righty, which seems about right.

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  18. Doin’ the Australian Wave

    There’s a thing here called the Australian wave. It all has to do with trying to shoo flies away from all the open crevices on your body, mostly your head for most, I suppose.

    Picture a Sally Struthers commercial. You know those flies that crawl up the kids’ noses and make you feel really bad for them? Well, they ain’t just in Ethiopia, folks. I don’t know if it is all the damp weather this week or what, but they are out here in full-force plague-like proportions. Eww.

    And speaking of national waves…

    Lost in Translation
    Mexican wave
    n. an occurrence which often happens at sporting events or large arenas which involves people in one area standing and possibly cheering and then sitting as those to their left do so. The excitement then continues around the arena ad nauseum. Known by North Americans as simply The Wave for obvious politically correct reasons.

    “During half-time they started the Mexican wave, and I spilled my popcorn.”

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  19. Video Killed the Radio Star

    We made the mistake of watching one of the video programs today. I say “mistake” because we’re both way to opinionated for our own good when it comes to musical taste. Some comments:

    • “Emergency Emergency” by Hot Lies: Hopefully my Americans won’t know about this band. I didn’t even know about them until I saw the video today. But yeah, my response was: “Hmm I liked them much better the first time when they were called Jimmy Eat World.”
    • Speaking of whom… hello! New JEW in like a week? I didn’t even know!
    • “It Means Nothing” by Stereophonics: I hate the song, but aside from that in the video I happened to glance up about a minute into it as they showed the woman and the baby sleeping. Then they show him in the hallway with a fire in the bathroom(?) as he walks out the door. And it goes into the chorus of “it means nothing; it means nothing”. And I said, “Nuh-uh, that means arson, buddy.” Ever since, Hans has been going around singing “it means arson; it means arson”.
    • But it not all bad. I have one extremely guilty pleasure, and that is “In This Life” by Delta Goodrem.

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  20. People Suck

    I’m cranky, and the people at the markets made me this way. It’s hard, because as an expat, I’m perhaps overly conscious of the stereotypical opinion about Americans. So I try to do my part to show that we’re not all pushy or overbearing or loud or inconsiderate or what-have-you. But today, I just couldn’t believe the other people.

    Hans and I were waiting patiently for a couple to leave their breakfast table so that we could have a seat. The people had barely stood when another couple literally ran in front of us and took the chairs out from underneath those departing.

    I didn’t even try to hide my disgust when the guy looked over at us. I suppose they could have gotten bonus points for offering to let us join them, but we were in need of four chairs as the in-laws were there with us.

    Hans’s mother eventually was in the right place at the right time, and we did sit for coffee. When we were through, I noticed there was a man glancing our direction. I gave the nod that is universal for “we’re about to leave; you’re welcome to have this table”. No sooner had we stood when this loud woman came right up to Hans’s dad and asked if we were leaving as she started to put her things on the table.

    I cut her off and said, “Yes, but I believe that gentleman has been waiting patiently for this seat.”

    She took her things with a bit of attitude, but the guy seemed grateful for the intervention. My gosh. Where do these people come from and didn’t their mothers teach them anything?

    *grumble*

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  21. Linky Links

    Sunset Magazine: I happened upon this one the other day, and I’d like to dive in further. Articles of note:

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  22. Gran Mal Headache

    Yesterday wasn’t a very fun time. It was my day off. I had things to clean. Oprah to watch. Games to play. And instead, I spent all but about five hours in the evening rolling around in agony on the bed or shivering on the bathroom floor.

    So add two more things I miss to the list:
    1. Excedrin Migraine: something about its caffeine-liciousness used to do the trick for me. (But funny that the first thing that stayed down yesterday was a cup of coffee at 4 pm. Maybe I just need to drink more coffee.) 🙂

    2. The couch in the cool darkness that is my parents’ basement. It’s a comfort thing.

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  23. A Thought

    I wonder how many marriages have been saved by the simple words “His” and “Hers” embroidered on the towels.

    (And does anyone here embroider?)

    ** Or check out these His & Hers Chromosome Towels at Amazon.

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