Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year to all my friends and family in all hemispheres!

The Update:

* Worked in the kitchen last night, cooking at the Melbourne Museum. Could have been worse, I suppose

* Still coughing. Thinking of going to the doctor

* Having a bit of a homesick day

* It's a lovely, sunny, hot day in Melbourne

* Thought of Raye this morning and how she inspires me. I'm going to go out and do something that brings a little measure of joy to my life. Something silly and nice. Because that's what she would do. She just has a way of making everything special

* I'm going to call my sister because she's alone and sad on New Years Eve

* New Year's Resolution (life resolution): live life with passion!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I should know well enough to keep my mouth shut and my fingers quiet. David does not understand Canadian sarcasm and is now at home majiking me a computer.


I slept a little better last night (more than three hours anyway - maybe even five hours!) but am still coughing and the cough syrup recommended by the chemist did nothing. Dammit.

~ Cough Cough Cough ~

Tonight is New Years Eve and I'm working at the Melbourne Museum, catering.

I'm hoping I get paid well for this. I'm also hoping it doesn't suck ass. I have no patience for a crappy assignment tonight.

Yes, I'm a baby and I'm grumpy.

On the YAY-side of life, yesterday was 35-40 degrees and right now it's 23. And I'm wearing my new pretty shirt, although there is no one here to appreciate it. And I finished The Little Prince and it was the cutest and made me think and I love that. Thanks Raye!

Monday, December 29, 2003

So why did I have to get SARS? OK, maybe Tony's not right, maybe I have bronchitis or something instead. I don't know what it is. But it means that I'm getting only three hours of sleep every night.


Just cannot stop coughing.

Well, at least it's stopping me from going out drinking. But it's also preventing me from going to yoga. Man, I feel like a lazy ass!

On top of that, have been eating yummy marble cheesecake that David bought. YUM! And have not been working catering or doing much of anything except coughing. So my back and head hurt. Sigh.

Enough complaining.

But that's part of the reason that I've been so delinquent with updating my site. Well, that and the fact that David keeps promising me a computer and not delivering....

Sunday, December 28, 2003

My four days of Christmas holiday were fantastic!

Watched Return of the King twice. And it was good but had a little too much homo-erotica for my taste.

Listened to my Sarah McLachlan CD too much. Ate too much cheesecake and strawberry sandwiches.

Shopped at the Myer stocktake sale and bought myself a new cute outfit, restraining myself from buying more shoes. Went window shopping on Brunswick St (Melbourne's equivalent of Queen West in Toronto). Restrained myself from buying so much...

Got very little sleep due to an annoying cough that refuses to go away. Last night, I managed to get three hours of sleep. David keeps telling me I should go to the doctor but I don't want to be a baby. We'll see...

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas to North America, happy Boxing Day to my side of the world!

I had such a good day yesterday.

I spent a leisurely morning painting my toenails, cooking my famous pizza, doing email, talking to friends/family on the phone and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my day and my remaining time here in Victoria.

Then David showed up at 3pm and we took off for the beaches of Port Melbourne. We stopped for ice cream and made a big mess as it melted too quickly in the wind and 27-degree weather and got it all over my hands, legs, face, hair.

We took off our shoes and started walking. And walking. And walking. And we walked all the way to St. Kilda (kind of like Toronto's Beaches area) in our bare feet. I even managed to give David my Christmas present: a little vignette that I'd written for him and a voucher for a signed copy of my first book.

We stopped at one of St. Kilda's famous cake shops and got stawberry tarts, a moroccan chocolate slice (dark rich ganache-like chocolate with hazelnuts) and coffee. Mmmmm.

Then we walked back, talking, talking, talking. Watching the kiteboarders fly through the waves and the air. Watched the sun set as the temperature dipped.

Topped off the night with a viewing of Love Actually, which was an excellent Christmas feel-good movie. Coughed through the whole thing, sadly, as I have some sort of virus.

But what a day! What a lovely Aussie Christmas!

And then I found out that everyone loved my Aussie presents at home. YAY! An Aussie outback hat for my dad, an opal necklace for my mom, a journal made from an Aussie licence plate, Australis South Bank lipgloss and Wallabies keychain for my sister, and for my brothers, all Wallabies paraphenalia including jacket, golf shirt and rugby ball.

Heard all about the antics around the Christmas tree this year... Matt told Will that he'd already bought the golf clubs that he KNEW Will had bought him (lying, of course). Mom forgot to give Jen the lipgloss until I called to tell her about it, Dad sort of seeing his snowblower out in the barn when he was out hiding Mom's present for the big treasure-hunt. Dad not recognizing last year's puzzle that Mom had re-wrapped up for him. Mom hiding money in a packet of Depends undergarments for Will.

Such a Bogaart Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Just got a call from my family. They're just home from evening mass and about to decorate the tree and drinking eggnog.

You know, you just can't find a decent eggnog here!

Opened my presents at 4am when David came to pick up Karen to take her to the airport. I got 2 "Canadian Girls Kick Ass" shirts from my mom and my sister. Great minds think alike. And my sister made me a lovely necklace.

My brother sent me a lovely card with photos... spoke to him today and he told me of his attempt to get me the sweetest Christmas present ever. He was going to get me tickets to an outdoor production of the Nutcracker here but their website was down for days. So he emailed the people requesting tickets and even giving him credit card information. They responded rudely, telling him to use the site (which of course was still broken) and that I wouldn't be able to pick them up anyway without his credit card. So he abandoned the effort in disgust. Still, just the thought of it makes my heart swell.

My friend Raye sent me a beautiful necklace that she made and a copy of Le Petit Prince with a lovely inscription. She is so thoughtful!

David even showed up with the perfect gifts: a box of chocolates that actually taste like proper chocolates, a Star Trek calendar complete with nerdy ST trivia and the latest Sarah McLachlan CD, Afterglow. Listening to it now, over and over and loving it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy Christmas Eve!

Went to Karen's house last night. She was packing as she's leaving tomorrow morning for the Gold Coast.

She was throwing out all her unneeded accumulated clothes, so I picked up some "new" clothes!

Then we watched Pirates of the Caribbean which was a riot! Johnny Depp was fantastic and my boyfriend, Orlando, had bad hair, so was not his otherwise hot-self. I think I like him better as an elf. Elves are just so friggin cool...

Tonight I'm going to Carols by Candlelight. I hope it gets me in the Christmas mood!

Sadly, I'm getting sick. Coughing my head off and can't hear about of my left ear. Great. Why do I have to catch every single Australian virus that flies through the air??

Scott left for Brisbane this morning. David drove him to the airport at, like, 4am. I can't believe David is so nice. It's painful; he breaks my heart with it.

But now I have the place to myself for 10 days. I'm sure I'll find some good use for that! Tomorrow I get to open my presents! Yay!

Monday, December 22, 2003

You should read someone's point of view on me and life here in Melbourne. Check out David's site. Apparently, I'm an inspiration. Yay.

~sniffs away emotional tears~
Fighting the sad feeling.

I should be happy: I got a package from my mom and Jen and a lovely card with photos from Will. And there's another package on its way to me today!

So what's wrong?

It's the thought of Christmas around the corner and my family around the other side of the world.

I'm fighting it though. Must figure out a way not to care.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Words of wisdom:
Never argue with a stupid person.
First they'll bring you down to their level,
Then they'll beat you with experience.
I have a digital camera!!

A Kodak LS443.

Started taking photos with it yesterday. Have yet to see what they look like on anything but my camera display screen. Can't wait can't wait can't wait. Might need a decent computer first, though....

Think I should have taken a photo of the candy-making demonstration at Suga yesterday. Outstanding!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Just got back from a failed attempt to go to my beginner's yoga class. I haven't been in weeks, since I hurt my back. And I forgot that it starts at 10am, not 10:30am.

I suck.

So instead I went shopping at the Queen Victoria markets. Bought all the fixin's for a Cathy's Special Pizza. Can't wait!

Now I'm going to Chinatown and digital camera shopping. Um, AFTER I do my Pilates tape.... [ahem]. yes.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Went to the Queen Victoria Gaslight Markets again last night. It was so great. I wanted to buy everything, but only bought some caramel rooibus tea instead.

And ate the yummiest strawberry-and-cream-pancakes. YUM!

Then went for a lovely walk along the Yarra river. Where rat-like birds stalked me. EW.


Now it's raining and I'm off to cater at the Melbourne Museum. But I have a headache and am not interested in going. Sigh.

But I have cute pigtails today, so maybe that makes up for everything?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

This morning, a couple on a moped handed me 2 chocolates and said "Merry Christmas".

Yummy Baci.

What a lovely morning surprise.

Then they sped away to spread joy throughout Melbourne...
Frustrated at the moment.

a) Scott's computer sucks ass.

b) I have to work in 45 minutes and it's a beautiful day: 40 degrees celcius. Lovely. But I have to cater at the National Gallery instead. Boo!

c) Stupid-ass GoWebServer's messing with my email access.

d) Hotmail sucks ass MORE than GoWebServer and deactivated my account. No kidding I didn't check it in 30 days. Maybe if they didn't send so much junk mail I might actually open it once in a while... Now I've lost all the contact info and keepsake emails I stored there... I hate them.

Going to hit someone. Perhaps the computer. It's too stupid to exist.

Monday, December 15, 2003

My friend Jaap is on his way to Sydney now. Sad.

But the highlight of my evening last night was singing the theme for Golden Girls with Alex over the phone.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Where to start?

After work, went to cater in Toorak, a rich suburb of Melbourne. Catered an affair for the Liberal Party. Got an offer to go horse-back riding with one of the 40-year-old big wigs. And then he got a little drunk and was hitting on me. Creepy. So I guess I won't go horse-back riding...

Took the train 2 hours to Frankston for. Lovely little town on the water. Met a guy from Toronto at the bus stop. Curious coincidence. Had a lovely chat with the cab driver, since I'd just missed the last bus to Mount Eliza.

I catered the end-of-training-camp BBQ for the Hawthorne Hawks at the holiday home of the Hawthorne club President. Gorgeous home.

Then out dancing for the night at some crappy club.

David, Jaap and I went on a trip to the Yarra Valley, Victoria's premiere wine-producing region. Went tasting at some small and large wineries. Bought a lovely bottle of Punt Road Shiraz. Had a bit of a nap at Yering Farm. Checked out the art gallery and wines at Yering Station, Victoria's first winery.

Finally, Jaap and I went to the Rod Laver Arena for the Train/LIVE concert. Fantastic. Just outstanding. Although I think that I liked Train better than LIVE. However, it IS the second time that I've seen LIVE in concert....

What a great weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Last night I went with Scott and Karen and Anne and her friend Jonathan to the Gaslight Night Market which was very cool.

We were supposed to go out to a jazz club afterwards, but Anne and Jonathan backed out. I was happy enough to be in bed by midnight anyway.

Let me tell you, working at 7:45am is not my idea of fun.

I'm tired tired tired. So I'm NOT going to swing dancing class tonight. But I AM going to pig out at Pizza Hut and then flake out on the couch for the evening. I'm so exciting I can't STAND it!

However, I am planning a big night out this Saturday, after working my butt off all day, catering. My big chance to get my groove-on...


  • It is about 25-30 degrees in Melbourne pretty much every day now.

  • There are decorations everywhere: christmas trees, tinsel, Myers has their Grinch Christmas window up and people are lined up out front to watch the magic. My team at work has decorated with particular gusto, which makes me a little nostalgic for the cheap, tacky decorations at home during the holidays.

  • The cutest Christmas site was sent to me by Sarah: Happy Tree Friends

  • Finally sent off my first Christmas package... as IF it's going to get there on time. I suck.
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    So I'm back to being a superstar today. Feeling all smart about the job; remember what it's like to actually use my brain and problem-solve. Karen is not so happy, though. I feel bad and wish there was something I could do...

    And then I realized that I had missed out on 2 whole rolls of film when I took it all in for developing. So, tomorrow I'll take in my film from the east coast, including my scuba diving, sailing and trip to the Atherton Tablelands. Oh what fun!

    Until then, enjoy the ones from Cape Trib/Port Douglas and the Northern Territory (Darwin and Uluru, etc) as they're only up for a month!

    Now, off to yoga!

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    Better day today!

    Doing a new job at work is a little bit more interesting... processing emailed mastercard requests. I actually got to suggest some improvements to the process, which made me feel like a smarty pants.

    And, you know me, I'm always happy to be a smarty pants.

    But I'm still putting out my resume since I'm not too certain about my job at the moment.

    And then Theresa and Alex tell me that the Uptown Theatre in Toronto collapsed! Shocking! I used to go see movies there with Dave all the time. I could have been one of the students trapped in there, if not for the fact that I'm all the way over here in Australia and Dave's in Japan...

    OK, so maybe not such a close brush with destruction...


    Now I haven't had a real chance to sort these all out with captions and making an "album" and all that. REmember, I'm not allowed to use the Internet at work anymore! So I'm off to a play-reading with my friend Anne now and I'll try to fix it up later...


    Monday, December 08, 2003

    Today was a crap day.

    First of all, it was Monday morning after a lovely weekend.
    Strike One.

    Then, I found out my friend Karen is leaving before Christmas.
    Strike Two.

    Finally, my job became hell on earth.
    Strike Three.

    Karen and I had been asked to move our desks Monday morning because they were going to be moving around some teams and some other people were supposed to sit in our spots. CRAP.

    What that really meant was that they wanted us to move to a spot where someone could watch our every move, our very cursor dart across the page!

    When our friend Seph came down to say good morning, some woman we've never been introduced to swoops down on us.

    "Since you obviously don't have enough to do..." WHOMPH! Drops a stack of papers on our desks.

    Right. And I was on my BREAK.
    Blood pressure check: elevated.

    Then Karen is instant-messaging David, asking him to get her some food from the cafeteria so she doesn't get in trouble for leaving her desk.

    Some guy we've never been introduced to suddenly appears over her shoulder, informing her that she is in breach of company policy by using the messenger for non-work-related purposes!

    Blood pressure check: I'm giving my self a headache I'm so mad.

    So we've clearly been told : no talking to anyone, no instant messaging (or non-work-related emails or blogging of course) and on Friday we were also flogged for our slackness in logging into our telephones. I was asked pointedly if I really got in at 8am, as my phone login was at 8:17am. My God. I forgot to login. Kill me.

    No, seriously, kill me now. I cannot stand being treated like a child. I am diligent and good at what I'm doing. If there is a problem with my work, then TELL me. But otherwise, don't make me feel guilty if I decide I'd like to write an email on my lunch half-hour. I feel insulted by this. Haven't they ever read the Cluetrain Manifesto?

    I need to find a new job.

    Sunday, December 07, 2003

    Just back from yabbying in Shepparton with Stuart (whom I met at the Melbourne Cup). I finally made it out to the country (about two hours outside Melbourne) to take Stuart up on his offer to take me out yabbying. And it was so worth it!

    Stuart picked me up from the station and I dropped off my stuff at his beautiful place before we went out to do some wine tasting in the Goulbourn Valley. We went to Mitchelton and Tahbilk where I tasted close to every wine possible, including some new variaties that I'd never tried before: Roussanne and Marsanne. Not a big fan; but did like the Tahbilk '98 Chardonnay. Stuart bought a Mitchelton red and we went back to his place to get our bathers and head out to his coworker's pool party.

    I met a couple other people that I'd met at the Melbourne Cup in the WestPac marquee and a bunch of new people as well.

    We ate and drank and talked and got into the spa later that night and had an interesting run-in with a vodka-marinated watermellon IN the spa... then they started trying to throw people in the pool, had some food fights, drinking games (ever heard of the "ibble dibble" drinking game?) and then it was time to go home. I was disappointingly tired.

    This morning, Stuart made me a champion's breakfast of superbly poached eggs and bacon. And then we went yabbying. I learned much about catching them and have proud photos to put up later. I also learned a surprising lot about agriculture in general. And then Stuart cooked up the little crustaceans and taught me how to peel and eat them and I am forever in his debt for introducing me to them, as they are the tastiest treat I've had in a LONG time!

    Great, just what I needed: a new food to love.
    Big cheers to Stuart for his amazing hospitality!

    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    I am a drunkass.

    Hung over again.

    Went to the Geoffrey Nathan Christmas party last night, complete with free drink card and way too little food.

    Was drunk before I got to the comedy club. Apologized to everyone for being drunk. Had a fantastic time at the club, when I could understand the fast-talking Aussie accent.

    Then Scott invited Jaap back to the apartment for more drinks and then David came to pick up his playstation and DVD (~sobs~).

    It was a late (drunken) night and an early (still drunken, I think) morning.

    I suck.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Bless David:

    You are amazing, really, just the way your mind spills onto the screen… I dislike envy but it’s hard to ignore, you are a strong and focused soul, I wish I could see the World as you do because I’d be a better person for it. I’ve laughed, I’ve felt so strongly moved and even dropped to the hollows of longing, but above all I’ve felt compelled to continue reading. You indeed have a powerful gift; I only wish I had a fraction of it to better convey how I feel.

    All this despite a stupid coding error in my journal...
    Feeling really proud and a little embarassed right now.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2003

    New fave band: The Doves.

    There Goes the Fear
    Caught By The River

    Yay for Capitol Records. Let's also thank them for bringing me the Dandy Warhols, shall we?

    Monday, December 01, 2003

    My mom has been asked to answer this question by a Life Coach:

    "What do you want over the next six months to one year that you think will bring you more joy and fulfillment in your life?"

    Tough question. It's something that I'm trying to answer as well.

    Anyone out there have answers? Share them with me.
    Finished John Steinbeck's Cannery Row on the tram this morning.

    Even now
    I know that I have savoured the hot taste of life
    Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
    Just for a small and a forgotten time
    I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
    The whitest pouring of eternal light...

    Black Marigolds, translated from the Sanskrit by E. Powys Mathers.
    Well, Scott's voice is finally back to normal. Unfortunately, because it was an endless source of hilarity for me. However, I'm sure he's happy not to sound like a duck anymore.

    He made dinner last night out of all of the scallops that we shucked. It was very nice of him to make dinner.

    Then we watched LoTR: TTT with all the new scenes, which was very exciting. Although I wish I could see it on a bigger screen. Beggers cannot be choosers, I suppose. Tonight I'm watching the appendices with david who suggested that I should have more flashy bits on my site.