Friday, July 30, 2010

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

Uh Oh! I've been noticing in my Google Analytics that I have been getting lots of hits under search terms like "juggalos" and "the gathering" based on this post I wrote in October of last year. I hope I am not about to be flamed by any juggalos or juggalettes! I'm scared!

I'll Be Home for Christmas...

Except I won't be.

It also doesn't look like it is worth it for my family to come out here after Christmas to visit me either. I assumed there would be no way in Hell I'd be able to take a month off around Christmas being the low man on the totem pole at my new job, but I never imagined that from a week or so before Christmas all the way to the beginning of February would be off limits! But they are. I also found out that although I may only be scheduled for 20 hours a week, I won't ever be able to bang those out over, say, three 7 hour shifts; I'll be expected to work five 4 hour shifts. So if my family came out, I wouldn't be able to take a week or two off, like I was planning, to hang out and maybe go to Tasmania or drive the Great Ocean Road with them and I also wouldn't be able to get my work done early in the week on the other weeks they are here and then have Thursday and Friday to play tour guide.

I was so upset when I found this out on Tuesday. I've never not had a Christmas with my family to begin with, but I had prepared myself for that, and thought I'd just have a later Christmas celebration with them*, and then to find out that that wasn't really even an option, I wanted to cry. Then a few people in my training group start talking about how they were told we weren't allowed to take any time off over the next 12 months of our contract, I really did start to cry when I called MOTH on my lunch break to fill him in! I talked to the trainer later that afternoon and the good news is is that we are allowed to take vacation after we have been at the company for 6 months so yesterday I got her to block out most of May for me and that is when I will be going home. I can't believe I will have to wait a year (from when I flew out here) to see my family again, but I guess it's better than not being able to see them for a year and 3 months!

So yeah, not a good start to the week really, but I'm trying to deal with it and a lot can happen between now and December so we'll see what happens. On a positive, I already got paid on Wednesday and will be using part of that money to buy some more work clothes this weekend since I've realized 1) I don't have a ton of clothes to begin with and 2) Hardly any of the stuff I do have is "work wear". Tomorrow or Sunday MOTH and I are hopefully going to go have a look at a family friend's mother's car and hopefully it will be the one for me. All I know so far is that it's a late 90s Subaru, it's an automatic, and the price is right. MOTH and I have said for years now that we want a Subaru Outback when we can afford one so it'll be sweet to start working our way up through the Subaru models now!

*MOTH's immediate family doesn't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons so it's not a situation where you can say "Suck it up D, lots of people have to rotate Christmas between each spouse's family," there just won't be a Christmas celebration at all, at least not with his parents or brother, though I'm hoping he'll still want to celebrate with me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Try to Keep Awake

I'm alive! I've survived the first two days at work, but I am bone tired by the time I leave. I am just at home now for a quick minute to bring in the trash cans, do some dishes, and have a quick check of my emails and now I am off to MOTH Dude's parents house for dinner so I don't really have time to update about how it's all going. I got some good news and some bad news today, work related, so I will hopefully be able to share it all with you tomorrow since I should be home by about 6:30 and dinner will be made since I'm throwing it all in the CrocPot in the morning before I leave so I'll fill you guys in then. Sorry for super long run-on sentences, the brain is fried right now! Until tomorrow then...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Am I Just Wasting My Time

Just a quick check-in. I'm about to make a super fast dinner and then we are off for our weekly trivia night with Croc and the Teacher and Croc's Parents. It's my last week of being unemployed and I've used it to be lazy. I created a budget for MOTH and I and we have super cool categories like "wedding" savings account and "future home" savings account and I'm actually excited about saving...woooo! Tomorrow I'm buying supplies for Christmas in July which is being held Saturday night at the Hairdresser's and the Soccer Player's. I'm going to make these really delicious apple spice cookie bars, attempt cheesecake bars, and also this drink called Wassail, which sounds like Sangria warmed up. I was going to try and make egg nog and real homemade stuffing, but then I figured I was probably getting a little ahead of myself in all that I could accomplish in a day with a tiny kitchen and oven. I can't wait for us to put on our dorky Christmas shirts, we got from Target in the States, Saturday night! Thinking about Christmas in July makes me think about real Christmas and it looks like I might be spending my first ever Christmas without my family this year since I'm sure I won't be able to take off work/afford to fly over on Christmas prices, but I'm already sowing the seeds for my family to come out after the New Year, when Nae is able to get time off from Trader Joe's (they laughed when she told them she wanted to come at Christmas). It'll be sad not to be there on the actual day with my family and doing all the baking with them on Christmas Eve, but it would be really cool to have them come out here and hang at the beach for a couple weeks. I think I'm going to start researching things to do in Tasmania and along the Great Ocean Road because I bet everyone would be excited to do either, including MOTH who hasn't been to/on either one! Anyway, I'd better shake a leg and get dinner going because once MOTH gets here, we have about 10 minutes max to chow it down before we are out the door. Oh and fingers crossed, I found a car I might buy; it's used and I can't see it til Sunday so that's why we are crossing our fingers-that it is still available then and that we like it when we see it. Ok, off now for real!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Born in the U.S.A.

What a timely piece of writing. MOTH was just talking to our friends at Lo's birthday party about how flaky Americans are. I used to be and some of my friends back home have been and will always be big flakes. I used to not think it was a big deal, it was just what people did. Well, here they don't and it's super rude to flake out on plans. Our friends raised an eyebrow when we were 45 minutes late to Lo's party, in California that is what we call on time for a party! I've gotten better about being on time to things here because I don't want people to feel like I'm being rude and if I make plans, I never flake on them unless I am sick/injured.

Anyway, Elsja made a comment on Facebook today about how Australians are so much better at getting back to her than Americans are and one of her friends posted this article in response. I hope it makes you laugh as much as it made me, recalling all the times I've flaked.

Are Americans Flaky?
Anonymous European

Ok, listen up Americans. You are far too flaky. Californians, you are at the vanguard of flakiness. Well done. And San Franciscans, you would have won all the gold medals at the Flaky Olympics if you had bothered to show up for the awards ceremony.

This is how we do things over in Europe:

We don't say "let's hang out some time" unless we actually mean it.

If we say "I'll call you tomorrow" we call you tomorrow.

If you leave us a voice mail asking us to call you back, we call you back.

We don't break plans at the last minute, leaving you hanging.

When we say we're excited about your event, thus creating emotional investment on your part in our attendance, we then take the trouble to actually show up.

We remember birthdays.

We attend our friends' events to show that we care about them. We don't treat them like just another entertainment option.

If you're off work sick, we call you to see how you're doing.

We at least aspire to examine our behavior through your eyes. It's called empathy and it's a pretty basic human interaction.

We make friends for life.

If you want us to be your friends (and let's face it, you know you do. You love our accents), you're going to have to try harder. Otherwise we'll all go back to Europe and live in a castle with a crocodile-filled moat in Luxembourg. And when you come to visit we won't lower the drawbridge and will instead taunt you from the ramparts. And nobody likes that.

PS If you're not flaky, please disregard the above. It's aimed at the other 90% of your countrymen. If you merely claim you're not flaky, keep in mind that almost all flakes claim this. So you probably are.

-Anonymous European


Monday, July 12, 2010

Motionless Wheel Nothing is Real Wasting My Time In the Waiting Line

Still waiting to hear back on the job. I got a call from the recruiting company on Friday morning that woke me up asking about the people I had put down as references, making it seem as if he had given them a week and they still hadn't gotten back to him. I explained that Monday was a holiday in the States so maybe people had the week off and I'd email them to see if they had gotten the email from the recruiter. Well, I open up my email and there was an email from one of my references asking what type of role I had applied for so she could use key terms about me suited to the role. She had gotten the email that morning when she got to work and started on it then and there. This guy knows he is emailing people in California, does he not understand how time zones work? E said she emailed the form back to him that night, which he probably got when he came in to the office yesterday and since then I haven't heard anything from him. So I still don't know if I've gotten this job or not. It's been a loooooooong process though! I've started to check the job boards again just in case this one doesn't come through. It's frustrating having it all be up in the air for so long. My bank account is getting painfully low again and I would love to not have to depend on MOTH Dude solely for money. I mean, we share our money and don't keep track or anything, but when one person isn't bringing in ANY money, it's pretty obvious who is doing most of the "sharing".

Friday night I made Thai Yellow Curry with Chicken and we watched "She's Out of Your League". Saturday MOTH Dude got up before me and read out in the yard. I got up and wrapped Lo's birthday present and then we were off to her party. We got there about an hour late, but even still ended up being there from about 12:15 to 8:30! She seemed like she had a great day and it was so cute to watch her smash a whole chunk of cake in to her face. We came home and were exhausted and asleep by about 10:30.

Sunday Moth got up before me again (miracle!) and was out in the yard reading when I woke up. I went on Facebook to check something my Mom had posted when Tinkerbell messaged to see what we were up to later. I had felt bad because the night before she left the party with Junior at around 6 and I said if we were going out later, I'd be the DD and come pick her up and she seemed excited to have her sister-in-law watch Junior and have a night out, but then we all got old and lazy and didn't end up going out so she stayed at home, too. So anyway, she suggested that we go get a drink Sunday afternoon. We ran out and did our grocery shopping and then I came home and baked cupcakes for the Sunday Family BBQ. We then met her, Croc, and the Teacher at a local pub and had a couple of drinks and it was a fun hour and a half sitting around laughing and talking and they had a really good guy singing and playing guitar and time was slipping away from us so we had to get going because Moth's Pop is a stickler for being on time and we were already late.

Tomorrow I've got a hot date with the Runner to go get our hair did by the Hairdresser and to check out her and the Smooth Talker's new house and puppy! The Smooth Talker suckered me in to making him cupcakes and since he and the Runner finally got engaged and it was just his birthday, I figured "why not?" so I'll be baking them fresh in the morning before I see her. Thursday is trivia night with Croc and the Teacher and Croc's parents. Did I mention we won the jackpot last week, but had to split it with another team. Still, we ended up winning $73! Friday night, MOTH is off to Queensland, as I have previously mentioned, for his cousin's wedding and I might have a night out with Tinkerbell, Potential Sis In Law, the Teacher, and the Hairdresser and LC if they are around. Tinkerbell wants to dance. I'm not a dancer, but I'll go to hang out and to be the DD for everyone so they can have a big night if they want to. I've also started a diet this week (basically just trying to eat less, no dessert through the week, and eating as much organic fruits, meats, and veggies as possible) and am working on a 30 before 30 list that I'll share with you guys soon.

That's about all from here, keep those fingers crossed about the job for me!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't Let Your Inhibitions Guide Your Way

I've started a list of 30 things (well 27 for now) that I want to do before I'm 30. That means I've got a little longer than 4 and a half years to get this stuff done. I know it's not the most original blog post, as I have seen it done in a bunch of different variations on a bunch of different blogs, but I think it's important to put things out in to the universe if you want them to happen so here it goes universe:

1. Get married. (I'm engaged so well on my way to this one-September 2012)

2. Find steady employment.

3. Lose weight, I won't specify a number, but it's intimidating.

4. Travel to South Africa.

5. Finally travel to Melbourne.

6. Finally travel to the Gold Coast.

7. Visit 2 new states in the U.S.

8. Paddle an Outrigger Canoe.

9. Save enough money for a down payment on a house.

10. Buy starter and learn how to make really good San Francisco style sourdough bread.

11. Learn how to make my own barbeque sauce.

12. Attempt to make mozzarella cheese at home.

13. See a movie at a drive in theater.

14. Keep this blog going for at least another 2 years.

15. Do the majority of my shopping at farmers markets and try and eat more locally grown foods and foods that are actually in season for where I live. Only eat chicken that has been ethically raised.

16. Go on a long bike ride along the CA coast.

17. Buy a beach cruiser.

18. Go camping more often. Camp in the mountains near Julian again, like we used to every Memorial Day Weekend growing up.

19. Plant a fruit and vegetable garden, maintain, and harvest it.

20. Get a dog (or 3, plus a cat, some chickens, a goat, and one of those little teacup pigs).

21. Read Michael Pollan's 4 books: In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemna (I'm halfway through this one), Food Rules and the Botany of Desire.

22. Smoke pot, but only if it becomes legal in California! (Seriously, how did I get through high school without ever trying it? I'm a good girl is how!)

23. Go on a whale watching trip in Monterey Bay.

24. Visit Julian and my God Parents again.

25. Go apple and/or berry picking.

26. See Blink 182 in concert.

27. Third time's a charm- finally see Brand New in concert.

What are your goals for yourself over the next couple of years? I'd love to hear all or part of other peoples' 30 before 30 list or whatever your variation of it is (if you've done it on your blog before, send me the link just in case I haven't read it before).

Happy Birthday to You

Today is my Mom's birthday- Happy Birthday Mom! A combination of bad weather here, summer there, missing loved ones' birthdays, and the 4th of July makes me miss home. It's hard to hear about all the fun I'm missing out on and all the changes that are happening at my parents' house- kitchen remodel, things that were planted in the garden while I was there are fruiting now, my sister is back living with them, and just the day-to-day stuff you don't think of while you're there.

I've got too much time on my hands to think about these things, though, and the crummy weather has been keeping me inside, rather than out on my walks. I still haven't heard back about the job, but know they are still contacting my references and waiting to analyze the results of my physical (great hearing, perfect vision, and yes, I can touch my toes, thank you very much! but surprisingly the urine sample I gave was only going to be analyzed for blood, protein, and sugar, not drugs as is normal for most jobs in the U.S. these days).

I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I think I may have gotten one of the positions so once I start training full time I won't have time to sit around and be sad. We also seem to have a really full rest of the month in terms of our weekends. Lo turned 1 on the 6th and tomorrow we are all getting together to celebrate her birthday. I know LC has been running around like crazy organizing and cleaning for the party for the past few months so I'm sure she'll be excited when tomorrow is finally here. Next weekend won't be busy for me, but MOTH Dude is flying up to Queensland for his cousin's wedding. I was invited, but we didn't know what my job situation or our money situation would be like when it was time to book the tickets so I opted to not go. Plus, once again, I'm a princess and I might have had to sleep on the floor for a few nights and I just can't handle it, and no one else in the family was getting a hotel room so it would've looked weird if we had. Lastly, the weekend after that we are celebrating Christmas in July with all of our friends over at The Soccer Player and the Hairdresser's place and it'll be fun to come up with a few recipes to try out for then.

August and September we don't have a lot planned for yet, but there is Nae's birthday to buy for and both of MOTH's parents have birthdays then, as well as Australian Father's Day so I'm sure we'll be kept busy with those events.

I'm also pretty excited because we are going to have our engagement party in October and MOTH Dude has agreed that a luau sounds like a fun party to throw (thanks for the suggestion LC!). I've already found a bunch of recipes that I'd like to make and Croc made the suggestion last night that we should turn part of our backyard in to a beach since MOTH's uncle can get us sand for really cheap. It sounds fun and crazy, although, I'm not sure if it's a good idea since we've been having trouble with a cat in our yard and wouldn't want our sand to turn in to a giant cat box.....yuck!

After writing all of our plans out, I've actually cheered myself up a bit. I'm missing out on things back home, but it's nice to have friends here who keep us busy and with plans of our own.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

And the Rockets Red Glare

I didn't have the most traditional 4th of July this year but I did manage to serve strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight so that was something. Also, in keeping with another American 4th tradition, I burnt my right hand and part of my left very, very badly. I can't say it was on anything as cool as fireworks, though. Nope, I burnt my hands when the boiling hot water I had just put in our hot water bottle for bed came spilling back out at me. MOTH Dude has jerry rigged a handkerchief with pieces of fresh aloe under it in to a bandage that he has wrapped my hand in and I'll wait and see in the morning how bad it actually is.