14 hours ago
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Its summer, colored zinc on faces, backyard barbies and cricket, swimming at the local pool, and fireworks, Awards...
Its Tuesday January 26th, Australia Day!
Incase you're wondering, and you would like a really good excuse to party today, you can click on my link up there for a meat pie recipe, pick up Vegemite at Cost Plus World Market (though it is a tad expensive there, worth it though in my humble opinon)
Tim Tams can be bought at Target, and if you really have to get Fosters and thats all that is available, you can get that at Walmart or Target too. We can discuss states and thier respective beers at a later date.
Cheers and Happy Australia Day!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We have seen some amazing sites, gone through challenges, taken some neat trips to places, are battling the new economy, currently living in two different states, facing career changes and trying to work out where we are heading.
Move over Tori and Dean.
We should be a reality show.
(I'm kidding. I have no desire, really)
Looking back, it might have been unfathomable that a 22 year old from a small town in South Western Queensland, and a penpal from Indiana, USA who had been writing for the past 7 years would end up married. I still have the stacks of letters we sent each other, the humorous stickers and pins, photos, and cards that we sent over the years.
Looking back I would never have known I would have the opportunity to see as much of the country as I have. I wouldn't have known the road that continues to be a bittersweet journey, the same that many of us face in our lives. The twists and turns, the realities of joy and heartbreak.
Leaving it all behind, as an expat from any country can be a challenge, particularly when doing it alone. Without question, when I first came to the US, I met up with some interesting challenges, ones I really had no idea existed, or at least expected to run into.
My arrival hardly heralded a welcome in the apartment complex we lived in. Instead, I was introduced head on to the regional thought concerning immigration and the number of misconceptions about legal immigration. There were questions concerning my 'entry' and where I should rightfully be living (bluntly, it apparently was not the US). But it wasn't until much later that I began to hear the full issues concerning illegal immigration, I put two and two together. I had dark hair and a tan. The blue eyes and European features I guess, didn't throw anyone off.
And yes, I do speak English, and no I do not need to learn to 'talk' it better.
Expat lesson numero uno - reduce the culture shock. Ask in an impartial manor, and in advance about any issues, political or cultural, that you should be aware of.In many cases, expats particularly from Australia and even those vacationing are caught by surprise at the culture shock and general differences between the US and Australia. Both countries you might expect to be similar, but its that, that contributes to the unexpected surprise. Its definately an adventure, and can be at times quite humorous.
Expat lesson 2, there are gits everywhere, you'll laugh it off soon enough.
Catch ya later
Saturday, January 16, 2010
A stream of images, and news of those searching for lost family and friend and those injured or lost, become more heartbreaking. Pictures of children the same age as my own with horrible injuries, and the news of a an 11 year old girl who died due to a leg injury, unable to be treated.
Its the aid of others that always comes through and shows the human spirit at its best. If you're interested in helping those in Haiti, but want to be sure your donation is being used in a wise and sufficiant manner, Charity Navigator is a great site - evaluates charities, lists links and supplies a great deal of helpful information. Their current blog post Hope for Haiti Telethon also links to several well known charities.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It wasn't until I was 10 that I first heard the phrase 'perfect pitch' and even then I didn't really take too much notice. I had always loved music, and at school I was drawn to learning scores and connecting them to the played note, but at the same time I thought it was a nuisance, I couldn't see the sense of reading music when I could just go ahead a play it anyway.
Swinging gently on sunny mornings as a 7 year old, I'd listen to the birds chirping then add my own personal symphony, music that seemed to resonate constantly in my mind. If I wasn't adding music to one thing or another, I'd find myself humming something I'd heard or singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' which wouldn't have been so bad had I not sung it every 5 minutes.
I'm not sure what my parents were thinking when they bought my Christmas present that year. It may have been the years of listening to my warbling and the hope that if I was going to hum all day that perhaps it might be something a little more sophisticated than the Eta Margerine commercial. I opened the present that morning and something unexpected happened
And when I say unexpected, I mean my change of perspective on classical music due to one record - Hooked on Classics.
You know, vinyl and one of those old fashioned things they called record players, wayyy back in the 80's. Yeah that. I was particularly hooked on the second half. About 5 minutes into the record until the end, I knew every note by heart. Decades later, I still can, for the most part, anticipate every note and hum away... much to the horror of my girls...and oddly enough, each piece has either an associative memory, or its own visual pattern dancing around in my mind.
Not only did I take a new interest in reading notes, but I was drawn to Mozarts 4th Symphony and In The Hall of the Mountain King, a song we listened to quite a bit at school had a new life, eventually becoming one of my favourite pieces. I was propelled into a sudden interest in playing piano, and saved for my very first keyboard, a little Casio that cost $80.
...I still find myself humming away to my own personal orchestra in the car while my 13 year old looks on with a dull stare.
It used to be shock, but we've moved on from there.
Now she just rolls her eyes and continues listening to Tokio Hotel on her IPOD. When she thinks I'm not looking, she smiles.
Then I get her back by humming the entire album in Target as we stroll up the aisles, only for my efforts to end up as our own private comedy as we try to outdo each other.
So if you see a couple of people trying to hide the clown like behavior in Target, you'll know who it is.
Catch ya later