Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Started work at 7am today. Guh. Did I mention that I'm NOT a morning person?

Ya, well, I'm not.

I perked up a little after meeting Caroline, who's originally from Vancouver but has been working at the Coffee Roaster for almost three years. Perked up even more after she made me a lovely flat white (coffee with milk). Seriously, if you want a good cup of coffee, you NEED to get one from this place. There's nothing like it in Toronto, as far as I know.

Had a surprisingly lovely day at work! Off at 1pm. Finalized my Blue Mountains tickets. Realized that I will need to buy myself some sort of sweater. I am NOT prepared for the cold weather here! Found out that second hand stores are NOT cheap. Spoiled myself with a manicure and pedicure. Chatted with my young Vietnamese aesthetician (they call them beauty therapists). Ate some chocolate (oops). Went to Pilates. Ate Ander's leftover Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. (Note: Pizza Hut isn't as greasy here.)

Could it get more lovely?
Well. It could. If I were not so damn tired, it could be more lovely. If I didn't have to go to bed directly after I have my shower in about 2.5 seconds because I have to work tomorrow at 7am in a suburb far, far away, it could be more lovely.

But who's complaining?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Had the day off today, so I was determined to take advantage of it. So I was up and out of the house early for me.

Made an appointment to get my haircut next week at Toni&Guy for $15 as a hair model. Should be interesting. Well, it's only hair, afterall. It grows back.

Went to the State Library of NSW. Got a free tour of the place. It's quite amazing. A book collection worth over $1.5 billion. Plus it's a beautiful building with lots of art and exhibits. I also got a free tour of the Shakespeare room, which is only open on Tuesdays. It's a room dedicated to works by Shakespeare. Then I went to the special exhibit and saw/read Shakespear's First Folio (and second, third and fourth). And the original diary of William Bligh, the captain of the infamous mutinous 'Bounty' ship. And the journals of several men who were part of the first fleet (the original colonizing fleet).

Then went to St. Andrew's Cathedral near Town Hall (the oldest church in Australia) to see a free lunchtime concert put on by Sydney's Royal Conservatorium of Music. It was beautiful. Three sets of different styles of classical music. I have decided that, if I were a classical musician, I would be a cellist. I just don't have the long, willowy figure or long hair to go with the romantic instrument. Well, that, and I can't play a note.

Then I sorted out my tour to the Blue Mountains for the weekend. I leave on Friday and come back on Sunday! I am so super excited I might just pee my pants.

Then I went to Body Pump and Yoga. Now it's bedtime as I have to be at work at 7am. Ugh.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Can you believe that I paid off over $45,000 in debts over the past two years? And then was able to save for this trip? Me either.
I was told today by a customer that they don't pay me enough. Isn't that sweet?

I do love being a waitress there. I look forward to being busy. Don't like it when I make a mistake, of course (I'm working on my obsession with perfection). But I love when I get to have a little chat with my customers. Melograno has the most lovely customers.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

A hot topic in Surry Hills (Sydney's gay district) is the age of consent for homosexuals in NSW. Apparently, you have to be older to decide you're ready for sex than if you're heterosexual. They're discussing changing this in parliament now.

Of course, many people are outraged about it.
Pink Board
Every once in a while, my housemate, Ander, comes home with a documentary from Blockbuster.

And sometimes I'm bored enough to watch them. That's how I first heard of the Thylacine/Tasmanian Tiger. This guy at the Australian Museum (that I've BEEN to) is trying to resurrect an extinct species by cloning the cells of a long dead specimen and growing a new animal. Aside from the guy being CRAZY, it's an interesting challenge for science.
I learned 2 things today.

1. Most animals are much like men: either unattractive and benign or cute and dangerous.

2. Even when you're sick and it's raining, you can still have a good day if you try.

Friday, May 23, 2003

I love it when I'm able to bring some measure of joy to people's lives! Especially when it's a friend who's done so much for me.

BTW, I'm still sick, sick, sick. Dying, I think. Trying to get my favourite doctor to come look after me on my death-bed, but it looks like they're not taking me seriously. ~deep sigh~
Last night was the karaoke competition at the Bondi Hotel.

I went with Alesha and my English friends, Leanne and Kev. A couple really great voices were there, competing for the $100 prize. You could tell who follows these competitions around, collecting prize money. It was just like the Duets movie. Except no one pulled out a gun.

I didn't do a song, mostly because I'm shy of big crowds and I'm a horrible singer. But also because I was sick and my throat really hurts. But Leanne and her housemates did "Respect" and the one girl rapped the whole thing. Some liked the gangsta-twist on it and gave her respect afterwards. Some laughed, but it was better than the girl troupe who had their own personal horrible dancer. Everyone laughed at that. Sadly, she thought she was really good.

I'm supposed to go out to Bondi again tonight, but I'm quite sick. Flu. Again. I'm really popular with the flu virus these days, it seems. At least I have tomorrow off to enjoy my illness.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

On the happiness theme, one dear friend wrote:
"happiness is within all of us, we just have to reach within to grab it."
Today I walked to/from Glebe, another suburb of Sydney, for training at another location of The Coffee Roaster. Yesterday I worked at their Alexandria (Green Square Stn) location. I got a bag of freshly roasted and ground Ethiopian coffee to try out here at home in our MokaPot. They would like me to try all of their varieties, eventually... well, twist my arm!

So, Kate and I tried it this morning. YUM! The coffee is so good that I don't need sugar in it at all. I am FULL of good coffee brewing tips. That I just MIGHT divulge if you stay tuned.

I also was able to bring home a bag full of left-over bagels, pastries and muffins (both today and yesterday). It would be good if I wouldn't eat the ENTIRE bag myself...

Tomorrow afternoon I work in the Surry Hills location.

And tonight was Pilates night at the gym. Not AS good as yoga, but it'll do.

Finally, my friend Alesha is back in Sydney! YAY! Just as I was getting bored! And got an odd email from Al about his trip to England where everyone was convinced he was infected with the SARS virus. Thank GOD for the stupid media.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Yoga is so good.
I missed my body pump class tonight and was relieved to do so, since it meant a lovely chat with Alex. We talked about why I've been feeling a little down. He actually quite inspired me. (If I hadn't already known him, then I could check something off my happiness list... btw, note that I've added to the happiness list after consulting the magazine at the gym tonight.)

Anyway, I got to the gym for yoga class. And it was so good. I feel so centred after going to that class. I actually talked to the instructor today. She doesn't teach a "style", she said. Rather, she teaches a system called "Yoga for Daily Living". Unfortunately, Sydney's locations are too far away from me to be practical. So I think I'll start looking at other yoga studios. I'm not so sure that I really want to stay with my gym. I think I'm getting bored. Ha, that's so like me.

And the yoga is the only thing that I look forward to at the end of a long day working and walking everywhere. Afterwards, I feel strong and calm and like I can handle anything. And I don't feel like I want to eat all the unhealthy food on the planet. I feel like I want to treat my body with love and respect and not pack it full of horrible things.

I've had a couple of good responses on the "Happiness" post. Sarah and Jack had especially good ones that I could relate to. Have you sent me your list?

Monday, May 19, 2003

Today was a beautiful day!
Sunny, 23 degrees... and it's AUTUMN, for goddessakes! I LOVE it here!

Of course, I was working at Melograno, so I didn't get to enjoy much of it before 3pm. Sigh. And even though the rest of the week is supposed to be much like today, I'm working every day (only up to 4 hours in a shift). That means I won't be able to get to the Blue Mountains like I'd wanted to. I'll talk to Joanne, my boss at the Coffee Grinders, to see if I can get 2 days off in a row next week instead.

I'm a little lonely today.
So that means that I'm going to the gym to forget about it.

Did I tell you that I LOVE being a waitress? I do.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Even earlier last night, at the gym, I was reading SHE magazine. I was reading the article "How to be Happy". Well, thank God someone finally figured THAT one out! The search is over, we can all retire.

So what you need to do is just make a list of the following things and set out to achieve them. And send the list to me.

1. two things to do every day to inspire myself
2. two people I want to meet this year
3. two things I want to learn
4. two things I want to finish
5. two things I want to start
6. two material things I want in my lifetime
7. two books I want to read
8. two places I want to go
10. two things I want to eliminate from my life

My list:
- walk through a park
- read while I drink my tea (it's amazing the things you can learn; this morning, I learned about the brain, yesterday about the Aussie Student Loan system)

- someone interesting from an exotic place
- someone who inspires me

3. Finding it hard to narrow it down, but this year...
- scuba diving
- surfing

- this trip
- the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

- a professional web site
- loving and believing myself

- a house
- a wedding ring (OK, that's cheating, I want my soul mate attached to that, please)

- tales of a female nomad
- The High King

- The Great Barrier Reef
- Fraser Island

- caring so much what others expect from me or think about me
- fear of failure (or my ridiculous notion of what constitutes failure)
I apologize for the peanut butter posting last night. I was a little drunk. But I finished off my container of peanut butter, so there should be no further outbursts on that front.

In other news...
Earlier in the night, on my way out to the Scottish girls night out, I walked through the path under Central Station, where all the buskers showcase their talent. There were two young guys asking everyone who walked by who inspired them as a kid.

I overheard them saying, "Wow, we've got one for Michael Jackson, one Madonna..." and then they asked me. "Who did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid? Who inspired you?"

I only thought a split second before answering. "My mom."

Raised eyebrows. Slack jaws. "Wow. That's sweet."

Ya, it's sweet. I don't know if I realized I was inspired by my mom as a kid. I only know now that she has totally affected the way I am. The way I always strive to do/achieve more. And now I see or hear about the things she does (learning to roller blade at 50, running charity marathons, charming the pants off everyone, being the life of every party and successful in her professional life) and I just hope that I will be that active, that cool when I'm a mom.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

I am preoccupied with peanut butter.

I love it. Eat it all the time. Can't stop. Think about it when I'm not eating it. I have a problem. Think about new ways to eat it... would it be good with ice cream? etc.

Listen, no lectures. You should be happy I told you about it at all.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

More rain.

But, happily, I spent the day with Femke, doddling around. Went to CentrePoint mall to visit the cafe where Femke works. Our English friend Leanne was there working. She's so sweet. Got me a free coffee, too. She's making us dinner tomorrow night.

We were going to go to the Aquarium, but we took too long shopping (I just tried on clothes, since I can't BUY anything) and then we wanted to go to the gym and Femke was going salsa dancing tonight, too. Well, I'm sure that I'll have plenty of chances to go to the Aquarium. It IS open until 10pm, afterall.

I also made an important discovery. The only chocolate worth eating in this country is Dove. Thank GOD I finally figured it out! And it's oh-so-conveniently on sale at Coles (that's their version of Dominion) this week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Another day, another downpour.
It's supposed to be like this until MONDAY! How depressing.

Today I finished up my contract out at Turramurra and got paid! Yay!

I'm sure I'll be out there again to visit. But I was able to finally pick up the package my mom sent me a MONTH ago! I'm very happy to get my jeans and some Red Rose Tea. Brian Plain really liked the Easter jube-jubes.

I'm working on a new Web site now, which is good because I have a little bit of free time this week to do it. The coming weeks promise to be VERY busy as I work two jobs here promising me full time work.

It's late and I have to get to bed. Femke and I are going to the Aquarium tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Word for the day : Audacious.
1 a : intrepidly daring : ADVENTUROUS
   b : recklessly bold : RASH
2 : contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum : INSOLENT
3 : marked by originality and verve

And in the interest of not kidding ourselves, ask yourself:
Are YOU leaving a positive wake?

(Deep thoughts inspired by Young Joseph.)
As it downpours outside (thank GOD I was off yesterday and not today!), I read a letter from my mom...
I am about to blatantly boast. Stop reading if this bothers you.

George Brown just sent me my marks for my last management class.
A+, for a perfect cumulative score/GPA of 4!
I am so smart; S-M-R-T. I mean....

Also, I might volunteer at the Sydney Film Festival. Exciting!

Monday, May 12, 2003

Today I went to work and discovered that I don't actually work today. Duh. I work tomorrow instead. Ooops.

On the up-side, Simon did give me a free flat white and sweet (I'm a sucker for sweets) to eat while I read one of the papers. Which, on its own made me happy to have made the mistake. It also got me up and out of bed early so that I was able to do my groceries and a few errands before starting out on my daily tourism trek at noon.

I went to Bondi Beach and did the walk to Bronte Beach.

It was gorgeous. I'm SO glad that I went. It's a short walk, and I could have done the longer walk to Coogee, as I would like to do before I leave. But I just dawdled and got distracted and kept stopping to read, to write, to nap. I only got to Bronte at 3pm. And stopped in the "Bogey Hole Cafe" for a banana smoothie. I was hopelessly fascinated by the surfers and boogie-boarders for another long while, watching one guy break his board and get REALLY angry about it.

I think I'd like to try it. Maybe someday I should actually wear a BATHING SUIT to the beach. (Only problem: it's not that warm.)

By 4pm it was getting cold as the sun started its descent.
And now, at 10pm, it's raining. And the forecast is calling for it to continue for the rest of the week. Sigh.

However, how happy am I that I didn't have to work and was able to go to the beach on the ONLY sunny day of the week!? YAY!

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Went on a gorgeous long walk with my friend Susan to Elizabeth Bay, Double Bay, Rushcutter's Bay and Rose Bay. There's an interesting (though long) account of these bays at this exerpt from the "Descriptive Sketch of NSW". If you have the time, it's well worth the read. You can read about Manly there, too. According to this atlas article, my next stop should be Watson's Bay.

However, next week's weather forecast is not looking promising. So I might end up seeing some art galleries/museums instead. Well, good thing I like art!

My throat is starting to feel a little better. Maybe I'll stop coughing so damn much and get more sleep and be able to get to the gym again.

I was able to call my mom for Mother's Day this weekend. Found quite a cheap phone card, actually. Wasn't able to talk to mom and dad as much as I'd like though. Well, maybe next time.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

I served two Kiwis who actually thought that I was French Canadian! The guy said my accent was a lot sweeter than an American accent. OK, I was flattered. It's the first nice thing that anyone's said about my accent. I'm under no illusions that I've got anything CLOSE to a sexy accent. So it was nice to think for just a moment that I actually have a "sweet" accent.

But, actually, I think everyone's favourite pastime here is making fun of Americans. At every opportunity.

Have I mentioned that I like my job at Melograno? My boss, Simon, is a sweetheart. He runs a good cafe. And he says I my eyes always look happy. (I've never pretended that I wasn't a sucker for a compliment.)

And when I'm off at 1:30pm, I can still get down to Darling Harbour and Chinatown while the sun is shining. Sometimes life is good. Especially when you know that you're going to see X-Men tonight! Hello Hugh!

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Today, I got a job at The Coffee Roaster. Met the lovely, friendly Joanne. Loved the place, loved the people. Immediately. Yay!

Also walked up to Royal Botanical Gardens again, like I said I would. Walked out to the Mrs. Macqueries Point. Beautiful. Wrote.

Went out to Randwick for lovely Thai food. Oh so good. Then on to a nearby pub for some drinks. Had a really nice time. Not feeling well, though. My throat is killing me!

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Today, I took the ferry to Manly Beach.
Made a new friend, hung out on my first beach in Australia, had some drinks, ate some food, watched some rugby and a beautiful sunset.

All in all, a good day. I hope my photos come out.
Have not yet had a chance to put Alesha's photography advice to test, though.
Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

I am a good cook.

I think Kendra should know that I made fried rice tonight.
I am a total sucker for an English accent.
In Australia, they do "try-outs" for waitressing jobs. I'm trying out at Melograno Cafe! If you'd like to read about the cafe a little, you can check out and search for "Melograno" or click on "Food>Cafes and Bistros on Oxford & to the South".

Simon and Tina are the owners and they are wonderful, kind people. The place is right around the corner from where I live. The customers are mostly sweet. A man came in, leaving his dog in the truck parked outside (as per law) was SO proud of himself for picking out that I'm from Canada. He proudly declared that he wanted to give me a tip... and presented me with a dollar.

"See?" He said loudly, "we DO tip here!"

Monday, May 05, 2003

Went with Alesha to the Stables Theatre. Lots of nakedness. Interesting, odd play.

Went for Thai food afterwards, which was YUMMY. Alesha is off to Melbourne today, sadly. But she'll be back in a couple of weeks. Lovely girl.

Sunday, I was working at the Eastern Creek Raceway near Blacktown. Wow, was THAT horrible! At least it was only for one day. Coffee and donuts all day, but not allowed to eat any of it. Could've been worse, I suppose. Nasty gross unhygenic conditions, though. Made Dairy Queen look really good.

More in the journal later. Off to my try-out at the cafe around the corner!

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Last night, after posting to my journal, I went on a pub crawl with Alesha. Mars, Peppermint, DugOut, GoodBar and Touch bars. Met some interesting people. Some creepy ones too. Home at 5am. Awake at 9am with my roommate-visitors. Sigh. Tired.

Then got up to go with my friend Ed to the Surry Hills Festival and the Powerhouse Museum, which, for the record, Lonely Planet, is NOT free on the first Saturday of every month. Beautiful day, though. Sadly, spent half of it inside.

Got a lovely call from Alex. He also sent me some lovely emails lately that have inspired me to add more photos to my Aus/Sydney Travel section.
Did I mention that our house is rumoured to have once been a transvestite brothel?

That would explain all the mirrors in our house. My walk-in closet is covered in mirrors... even one on the ceiling. Nowell's room is a tiny, windowless room off the living area (also covered in mirrors) and locks from the OUTSIDE with the indentation of what looks to have been a BAR across the outside of the door.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Attention, please.

I have a job.

Sunday. All day. Near Blacktown, if you care, at the raceway. Temp work at a food counter.

And I have a try-out at the cafe around the corner on Tuesday at 10:30am. YAY!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Corven suggested that I register:

Just saw the movie Samsara with my new friend, Alesha from the Sunshine Coast.

Interesting movie. Very... sensual (the sort of movie that would have my mother up making tea every couple of minutes).

The vegetarian buffet dinner that you get along with the show was also incredibly good. Although not as good as the company! Alesha's great. Had some interesting photography advice for me... but that's a whole other story that you'll have to email me to find out about.