Thursday, July 31, 2003

A couple of good things; a couple of bad things.

- had a massage at the massage school
- finished the Ugo Rondinone exhibit at the MCA
- did Pilates and Body Pump at my last night at the gym, as my membership expires

- my cat is sick
- a misunderstanding at my flat has led to me having to pay more money than was explained to me
- I'm tired

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Added more culture to my life tonight with yet another trip to the Art Gallery's Art After Hours series.

Andrea and I saw the film "Vincent", about Van Gogh's life.

It was based on letters Vincent sent to his brother, Theo.

His words inspired me. They sparked such emotion.

His passion for art reminded me of how I feel about writing.
And he has an interesting way of looking at the world...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Discovered last night at my Body Pump class that my Asics are falling apart. So, today I bought new running shoes.

$70 for a pair of New Balance (half off)!

Also checked out a tattoo studio and decided NOT to get my tattoo that I've been thinking about for years.

Also went to a couple of travellers posting boards, looking for people going up the east coast. Have only one person to call tomorrow, but I have my doubts about it.

Looks like I'll be taking a bus.

If I can get myself organized at all, that is.
Professionally, I'm very organized. Personally, I have problems making decisions.

I mean, really, who needs a couple of hours to decide on a pair of running shoes for goddessakes?

Sunday, July 27, 2003

I had such a great birthday!

Got up early (actually, it was only early for a weekend, but late for me these days); 8:30am.

Went to the gym. Came home and had a leisurely breakfast with a pot of Red Rose tea and red the Arts section of the newspaper.

Walked to the bus stop and found a bus going to Watson's Bay. I climbed on and did the awe-inspiring walk to the South Head Lighthouse.

My sister, Jen, called me then. We had such a lovely talk. I was so happy to hear from her; I'd been hoping she would call.

Then I boarded the bus back to the CBD (specifically, the bus depot at Taylor Square) and discovered that there ARE friendly Sydney bus drivers! He was so friendly that he pissed off a sour old man who had no interest in being entertained. It's too bad that one man in a bad mood can ruin a perfectly lovely bus ride.

Once home, I got ready for my party.

Andrea brought me cake and presents (more on that later in my journal, I think). Then my Cdn friend Edgar came over and we started into the coffee martinis.

A bunch of friends came by, nothing crazy.
Dave called from Japan.

My family called. I also got to talk to Kendra, who was there with my brothers to celebrate my Dad's birthday belatedly. It was the first time that I've talked to Kendra and Will since I've been here.

I got off the phone and immediately wanted to call back. Tears welled up. Andrea hugged me and I went back to the party.

My roommates Jim and Nowell took me to The CourtHouse/Judgement Bar at Taylor Square around 1:30am. Several horrible men tried to chat me up. One was downright insulting! Can't figure out why Aussie men are so bad at chatting me up.

But it was all made better by the interesting conversation that I had with Jim about appearances and confidence and many other things. Nowell announced to us that we are engaged. We celebrated that with a drink.

And today I celebrated my hangover with a 3-hour sunlit lounge in my backyard with a travel magazine and coffee. And then some really greasy take-away fish and chips. Mm, grease.

And I had a quick-but-deep talk with Tony.


Friday, July 25, 2003

It is still only my Australian birthday and NOT my birthday in Canada yet. Sigh.

However, Alex already called and wished me a happy birthday. He's so sweet. The cutest part is when he called too early, having miscalculated the time.

Last night, I taught Andrea a new word that is very important in my world.

And that's what you get when you let a drunken german girl post to your website.

Also, apparently, Andy got a haircut and looks yummy. Of course.
it's soooooooooo exiting, i'm on cathy's website. i like it!!!!!!!!! (almost as much as my new "wild gold" cd)
actually i'm much wilder than my cd.
hello, this is andrea....
actually we didn't go to the mca, we were just drinking the whole evening!!!!
but that's a lot more fun and we're still going on with that...............yipiehhhh!!!!

just bought 9 new trance and dance cd's and we're now going to have a dance party here, so if anyone is interested, please join us at cathy's house...............
Today, after work, while eating my tandoori chicken wrap in Ward park, the playground near my house, I tried to send out a brain wave to Alex to call me.

It didn't work.

But Andrea called me. And now we're off to the Museum of Contemporary Art and then the Boutique Wine Festival.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I just received a birthday card from my brother Will that is bright pink and features a purple fuzzy bear.

"A dorky card from one of your dorky brothers.
Place [sic] safe & have fun.

I'm in tears.
Brothers are good.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Worked all day today and then went to the Art Gallery (Art After Hours) to see the old "Moulin Rouge"; a film about the life of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Interesting film. Nothing like the modern Moulin Rouge movie, though.

Got a beautiful birthday card from my sister, Jen along with some lovely photos!

Yesterday, I got a birthday package from Heather and I'm wearing the present she sent today. Andrea was SO jealous!

And, on the weekend, I got a racey birthday card from my MOM!

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Have been forgetting to post! My apologies!

Sunday night was dinner and a movie night at my place. Andrea and I made spagetti, Michelle brought caramel date cookies and vanilla ice cream and we all watched Moulin Rouge.

Andrea and I know all the words to all the songs and tried very hard not to sing so as not to spoil the movie for Michelle.

Ewan was amazing and beautiful, as usual.


Monday was work, laundry and gym day. Terribly exciting.

Then I rushed home, showered and rushed over to Blackbird Cafe in Darling Harbour for dinner. It was Sabine's birthday, so we celebrated with a lovely dinner. Sabine and I are also having a party at my house this Saturday to celebrate both our birthdays.

Today I worked again, of course.

There was a new window display at Spirit Level, a new mural in Central Station's tunnel and a new view as I crossed the footbridge, since the sun is rising earlier now... my walk to work was a whole new world!

After work, Andrea and I went to a new photo exhibit at the State Library. It was outstanding. What an amazing photographer.

Then we had coffee and chatted about destiny at Gloria Jeans, went lipstick shopping and walked home.

Tonight, I get to talk to Sarah! YAY!

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Yesterday, after work, I took a free* ferry ride to Balmain and did the historical walk through the lovely suburb.

Then I met Andrea and walked to King's Cross to meet Michelle, Dominic, Victoria, Sabine and Bette for drinks at the World Bar (AKA: the teapot bar). The Pyrmont gang (ie: everyone except me and Andrea) left after one teapot and viewing my latest photos. Andrea and I stayed for another teapot (pots of shooters like Creme Caramel, Chocoholic, Tropicana...) and a bottle of wine.

We talked about our past loves and lusts, our crushes and how we were very happy to have met each other. These are the kinds of things you talk about when you're drunk.

Then we made a late night dash to the Coles Express to buy a big bag of Doritos to eat on our way home.

* note that this ferry ride normally costs about $4.50, but I'm a dishonest, horrible person and managed to get the ride for free by falling asleep in the sun and ignoring the ticket man when he came around.
Planning the next leg of my trip: Sydney to Byron Bay or Brisbane.

Option #1: find a ride with someone via hostel notice boards
Pro: cheap (only have to share the cost of petrol).
Con: you take your chances on who you drive with and if you'll find someone going your way.

Option #2: OzExperience
Pro: Hop on/off options to places that I might not otherwise go see, but are interesting, with a tour guide driver
Con: Young party-seeking backpackers that I might find annoying, stopping in places I might not really WANT to stop in, a bit more expensive since it is like a tour ($226)

Option #3: Greyhound/Pioneer/McCafferty's bus
Pro: cheap ($80), reliable
Con: boring, might miss interesting things, maybe no hop on/off option

Friday, July 18, 2003

Happy Birthday Dad!!

(His birthday is actually on the 18th, but due to timezone differences, it wasn't yet his birthday when I was online yesterday.)

I miss my dad a lot. We do get to talk on the phone sometimes (like last weekend, we had a nice long chat), but it's not the same, nor can I call any time I feel like it. Plus, I can't even help him eat his birthday cake!

Thursday, July 17, 2003

It started out as a good day... opened the coffee shop, as usual. Finished work at 12:45 and picked up Andrea at her hostel. Bungled our way to Olympic Park, Homebush Bay.

Walked to Bicentennial Park after a few wrong turns. Did the Mangrove Boardwalk, took some nice photos.

On the way back, Alex called to let me know that Sharon had been laid off, along with 8 others at Infinet! I was shocked! I hurried home to find out who else among my many work friends...

Sarah had emailed me.
Subject: I got laid off today

My mouth gaped open.

What does one say to that?

I wanted to say "one day you will thank your lucky stars this happened" but she might not be ready to hear that yet.

I want to call her, but it's too early! I want to be there for her. And I'm not. I'm here. I wish I knew how to be the friend she needs right now.

Do they know what they've lost?
She deserves so much better.

She will move on to better things. I know she is destined for greatness. But she must discover it for herself. Just as I had to.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Went to Art After Hours at the Art Gallery. This time, went with Andrea and Michelle, Sabine, Dominic and Bette.

We saw the end of the Craig Scott and Jazz Ensembles performance on the main floor, amidst the Australian Impressionist paintings.

Then we went downstairs for the film: French Can-Can, circa 1955, I think. Next week is the original Moulin Rouge; Andrea and I are determined to go see it.

Today was another impossibly beautiful day. Sunny and 20+ degrees in WINTER!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Tonight I saw African Footprint at the Footbridge Theatre in Glebe.

It was worth the price! Probably the best show that I've seen in Sydney.

Toe-tapping, booty-shaking, chair dancing fun. And I got the shivers from this one woman's rich voice.

Went with Andrea and my friend Natasha from work.

At one point, 2 men strip down to their boxers and duel. Natasha and I looked at each other, eyebrows raised.

Yes. Please.

Ohmygosh the bodies on these dancers! It really takes your breath away. They were all amazing specimens of human beings. Although it made me feel pathetically, tragically unfit, it was also worth skipping the gym for.

Monday, July 14, 2003

It's 22 degrees and sunny beautiful right now (on my lunch break from the Coffee Roaster).

And this is winter?
Today I gave my notice at The Coffee Roaster.

I told Joanne that I decided this weekend to move out of Sydney in August.

It was a tough decision, as I really love Sydney. But events have conspired to make this the right choice.

Joanne was really nice about it; told me that it's been fun having me. How sweet.

So now comes the difficult part:
- research/organize my getting OUT of Sydney (my next travel plans)
- packing up and sending some stuff home
- doing all the things that I have left to do in Sydney
- seeing and saying goodbye to all my friends here

I still have some time; about 3 weeks or so.

I'm part excited, part sad and part scared. I think that's a healthy mix.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

The Aussie Rules game was great (not just because Sydney Swans won) with fantastic atmosphere and I learned a lot about the sport.

Yesterday I worked at Melograno and then took the bus to Bondi for the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee with Andrea, Michelle and Sabina.

We were supposed to meet at 1:30pm, but we were all late (thank god for mobiles) and ended up only starting the walk at 4pm.

That meant that half the walk was done in the dark. (Even the part through the cemetary.)

But the moon was full and it was a gorgeous, magical night. When we got to Coogee, we bought a bottle of wine and drank it on the beach.

Some weird coincidence brought our friend Martin to the beach at JUST that moment. He joined us, had a drink with us and then we all went home.

What a lovely day.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Sydney Swans won!!

In other news, I'm drunk and I would like to write to Sarah right now, but I'm afraid of writing one of those weird drunken emails.

Went to "O" Bar for Anica's birthday (she's a girl I work with). She turned 22 and I felt a little old. In number only, because I don't feel old at all, even though my birthday is quickly approaching. I feel like a child; so someone's clearly made a mistake with my age.

Listening to Morecheeba on the household CD player in the dark while reading Sarah's blog. Magic.
I just made Andrea and I yummy red thai curry. She said it was SOOOoooo good. I'm such a good cook.

We're off to the Aussie Rules Football game now.
I checked my stats. I'm getting over 100 hits a week!

Also, why would someone search for "sioban exotic australia" and get MY site?

Friday, July 11, 2003

Had a lovely talk with Alex last night, until very late at night, discussing the nature of relationships.

Unfortunately, Melograno called me at 8:20am to work for someone who called in sick. Kind of sucks living around the corner from them... but of course I said yes.

Who am I kidding? 8:30am is like a luxuriously decadent sleeping-in for me now. Sadly.

I was able to give my parents a short ring just before going to work. It was SOOOoooo good to talk to them. I miss them. They are awesome and I want to give them a big hug.

Today is errand, organization and planning day.

Tonight I make dinner for Andrea and then we go with my flatmates Jim and Ander to an Aussie Rules game.
Happy Birthday Dave!

I slept in this morning!


I was supposed to be in a 7am and woke up to a phone call from my boss at 7:22am asking where I was.

I was at work, showered and in my uniform at 7:35am. Whew!

It was a good day at work. Didn't even seem like I worked 10.5 hours at all.

Tonight, I'm going to Govinda's tonight to see Frida.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Again, opened the Glebe Roaster this morning. Early mornings are definately NOT my thing.

Well, I suppose they might be if I actually got any sleep, ever.

Off at 12:30, I walked through Sydney University. What a beautiful university. What a beautiful day.

I was going to do some errands before starting my next shift at the Surry Hills location of the Roaster, but then a wonderful thing happened.

Tony called.

We had a lovely conversation. And I sat down in the park just in front of the university and basked in the sun and talked and laughed. It was the first time I'd relaxed in days.

So, after we'd talked probably too long (considering the cost of calling me here without a special phone card) I went and did the closing shift at the Surry Hills Roaster.

I ran home to show my apartment to another potential roommate.

Then I finally made it to the gym. I suppose once this week is better than not at all, right?

Verdict: Pilates and Body Pump class are so good for me (as I sit here eating a croissant from the Roaster).

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Andrea and I went to the Art Gallery of NSW tonight for their Art After Hours free event to see Beneath Clouds, part of their NAIDOC (Indigenous) Week film series.

Fantastic movie. And free!

And the Gallery is fantastic as well. I'm going next week too.

This tourist stuff is starting to wear me out, but it's damn fun!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Monday I went to Sydney's Skytower or Centrepoint at night. Great view; probably too expensive. Had a cool ride at the bottom, though. Very touristy.

Walked through Hyde Park at night (I know, again?) and then had yummy Thai food on Oxford St. and then went to King's Cross (the red light district) for teapot shooters.

Home late. Up early.

Yesterday, after work, Andrea and I saw the Wim Wenders photo exhibit at the MCA. The Museum is free, but the exhibit cost $10, which I think was too much.

Good exhibit, though.

Then went out for Indian food and drinks. Although I had meant to go to the pay-what-you-can night at the Belvoir to see The Homecoming. A friend of mine is in it. I was sad when they told me it was sold out.

Still don't have a roommate but found out that I can live here by myself for another three weeks. My housemates are so nice!

Finally got back and went to bed before midnight.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Went to The Rocks Aroma Coffee Festival yesterday. Lots of coffee. Too much, probably.

Then Andrea and I went for Vietnamese food (it made me miss Jane). Andrea is just back from her outback tour that she absolutely LOVED.

When we went to Scubar for drinks, we met a guy who might actually come and look at my site, so I should mention him. He didn't want to talk about the fact that he's in the British Army, so perhaps I shouldn't mention that. He's only in Sydney for 2 days, so we tried to help him figure out what to see/do in those 2 days.

2 day itinerary:
Hyde Park
Royal Botanical Gardens
Opera House
Darling Harbour
Bondi to Coogee walk

Friday, July 04, 2003

Theresa has a new house at Yonge and Eg! Very excited for her!
Well, it's good to know that I have so many people to let me know when my site screws up. Thanks, guys!

There was a problem with my blog. Either Blogger screwed up or I was hacked. Probably the former.

Anyway, it's fixed now. Phew!

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Have discovered new winter warm up bedtime taste sensation: chai tea and butterscotch schnapps.
They have finally trained me how to make coffee!

I suck at frothing milk, but I'm learning.

You name it, I can make it: cappucino, latte, flat white, long black, short black (espresso), macchiato, black/white vienna, hot chocolate, iced coffee, mochas... I feel so cool!

Even more exciting, I talked to my mom last night and had a really fantastic talk with Raye today after work. She always makes me feel better.

I needed perking up today because it's cold and rainy and I'm exhausted from waking up every day at 5:30am and going to work. I'm not a morning person.

Plus, I came home to a super messy kitchen, I'm a little worried about how my income vs. expenses ratio here in Sydney (the most expensive city in Australia), and I'm a little bored.

However, I'm sure things will be better tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Well Canada Day was a BLAST!

Went with my friend Kat (former Rye student who lives in Sydney now) to the Victoria Cross Bar. It's the official Canadian bar in Sydney. It was so dedicated by some important dignitary and they even have a plaque on the wall commemorating this fact.

They served Labbatt's Blue and Canadian Club sponsored the event, so I drank CC Club all night.

They played Canadian music. Lots of Tragically Hip, Kim Mitchell, Colin James, Bryan Adams, Tom Cochrane, The Guess Who and even a Bran Van 2000 song - but no Our Lady Peace! Even so, it was so fantastic to hear so many of my favourite songs/bands.

There was Canadian Trivia (ie: who was the second PM?) and Molson Canadian commercials and then the main event:

(pics to come in the travel section soon)

Met some new friends. Wore my best Canadian outfit: My new "I Love Toronto" t-shirt, courtesy of the amazing Sarah and my Leafs jersey, courtesy of Matt.

Also wore my "I love Toronto" tshirt to work today and showed it off to all my favourite customers. One guy said "Nice shirt. I didn't really read it, though." Smirk.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Sarah is the greatest. She sent me a Canada Day care package with an "I love Toronto" tshirt. I'm wearing it tonight to the Canada Day celebrations, along with my Leafs Jersey!!

Sarah ROCKS!

Sorry about the lack of updates. We had to turn off our Internet access for a couple of days as we'd reached our package's download limit. I know, I know, I should've gone to an Internet cafe. But I figured everyone could wait a couple of days until July 1st.

Tonight I'm going out to North Sydney to celebrate Canada Day with other Sydneysider Canadians!

Last night I saw Bowling for Columbine at Govinda's. It was outstanding. I've never been MORE proud to be Canadian. I found it funny that they interviewed people from Sarnia. My mom is from Sarnia. I hate to say it, but I DO lock my door.

I went to Govinda's with Michelle (Vancouverite) and her roommates, who are all amazing people!! I found out that me and one of her roommates have birthdays this month around the same time, so we're going to plan a joint bday party!

After the movie, we went to a pub out in King's Cross and got a teapot of some tropical shots. Very yum. Met a cabdriver who speaks 10 languages! Got home late and woke up early to work. Ugh.


Went to Michelle's apt for dinner. She made the most amazing salmon dinner!! She's a fantastic cook!

She also has fantastic roommates. WE all went out to the The Orient pub in The Rocks. I didn't know about it's reputation before I went. It was a total meat market. Some guy asked me to dance then dragged me around the pub a couple of times, then talked incoherently, then asked me if I wanted a drink and made me pay for it. Weird.

Met Andreas and David there, who came with us when we left to go to Pontoon, in Darling Harbour. David had some hidden salsa talents, which he was happy to show off. I need to learn how to dance. It looks so cool and is so fun! Too bad I suck at it.