Monday, November 30, 2009


We are off tomorrow on an Australian cruise with family and friends from the states (YAY!)

I promise to do a catch up blog when we get back! (Robbie Williams concert, Thanksgiving, etc.)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

10 years ago today.........

10 years ago today, I was celebrating Thanksgiving in London with my study abroad group. We decided to go out after the meal our school put on for us, and ended up in Leicester Square.
We started at a pub (the Fawn & Firkin) and then moved on to the Zoo Bar.
There, I met a tall blonde guy named Zac. He had spiked hair, and a long black leather coat - and I thought he was gorgeous!!!!

I dont' have the first pic ever of us to post from that night, because it is in my London scrapbook that my parents are bringing over soon. But I do have a picture of Zac (his American nickname as with his accent people could understand him saying Murray:) and I at Joe's Crab Shack, where we went for a goodbye dinner at the end of his first visit to Minnesota.

I knew from the moment I met him there was something very very special about this guy, and after that first visit I knew I was head over heels in love.
I love you Murray - Happy 'Dating' Anniversary

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Britney

Friday night I went to see Britney Spears perform her final night in Sydney with my sister-in-lawHelen

This tour is the first time she has come to Australia, but after all the bad press I think she may not ever come back! So I consider this a once off to see someone who puts on a fun big show!

She only sang one song live - Everytime - but really, since we knew that going in I was fine with it. I think it would have been better if she had sung OVER the tracks like most pop artists do (it did sound quite obvious that they were playing studio tracks....) but at the end of the day it was what we expected and it was fun!

It was a big show with lots to see and an AMAZING stage. The dancers were fab, the costumes were great, and I loved some of the remixes of her old stuff.

All in all a very fun night:)

Sunday Steve & Selina & the girls came over. It was 42c degrees (114f)!!!! It felt like walking in a hair dryer - there wasn't even a cool ocean breeze but a HOT one! It only got cool when we got RIGHT down by the water, and the water was chilly - nice & refreshing. So of course we had to go get some ice cream. Unfortunately though, Ben & Jerry's has NOT designed their store well for lots of ice cream lovers. We gave up after waiting awhile in this queue (it snaked around inside the store too). My Copenhagen strawberry ice cream was yummy anyhow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Definitely Not a Twihard

So I finally saw Twilight (the first one) last night as my friend Anna kindly lent me the DVD.
I dunno - it was good - but I thought it was awfully slow paced and the story was quite bizarre (vampires who love baseball? really?). But *shrug* I guess I'd go see the new one. I enjoyed it, just thought it was quite odd. I can imagine that perhaps the books are better than the movie though - especially some of those scenes where they just sat staring at each other for ages. I can imagine the book was MUCH more descriptive, as the scenes in the movie got very long!
So anyhow, it was good, but I won't be reading the books, and I'm definitely not a Twihard (as they say on the radio - what they call huge Twilight fans:)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ballet at the Opera House

Last night I went with Anna to see Concord at the Opera House
I noticed while walking there that they have already put up the main display for New Year's Eve on the bridge

I can't really tell what it is - maybe a globe or something? Looking forward to finding out on New Year's Eve!

Concord was good, it was actually 3 ballets in one. Each was half an hour long with two twenty minute intervals.
The first one - Por vos muero (For thee I die) is a "Spanish Renaissance-inspired work that uses light and shade, tragic poetry, and Spanish and Catalonian music from the 15th and 16th centuries to unveil the conflict of love and emotions trapped in a renaissance world." I liked the costumes and I liked the deep voice speaking in Spanish between acts. The dancing was amazing as well - it was really very interesting.

The second dance was Scuola di ballo, a ballet school comedy about a terriblemballerina who the instructor wants to get rid of, so he passes her off to another school with a contract. They come back to sue once they figure out how horrible she is at dancing. Very funny & gorgeous costume! The dnacing was classical and I LOVED it!

The third ballet was Dyad 1929. The choreography is "jolty, frantic, neurotic and minimalist all at once." I think that's a pretty good desctiption - it was VERY modern - a bit too modern for my taste - but I can't say it wasn't interesting!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another lovely weekend

We went to see my in-laws again this weekend to celebrate my Mother-in-law Lyn's birthday.
Sister-in-law Helen brought along awesome car snacks and we enjoyed working Murray's old i-pod to death on the 3 1/2 hour drive.

We had a gorgeous lunch out with amazing food and birthday toasts, and a nice relaxing afternoon.

Sunday, after a bit of shopping and a chai latte (yummm), we made our way back to Sydney. Big mistake to leave earlier than we usually do though at 2pm (thinking we'd miss the traffic). Turns out everyone else must have been thinking the same thing and the roads were PACKED! Next time we'll hang out a bit longer and leave later in the afternoon to have a decent return drive time.

Last night we watched a bit of the only late night comedy tv show here (granted it's only on once a week....) Rove. He annouced that after 10 years on air, last night was his last show. Honestly? My first reaction was "good - now maybe they can find someone funny!"
He just is NOT funny! I like the other regulars he has on the show, they are usually quite entertaining, but I just don't like him - and it's HIS show - not good! I wonder if they will replace him or just scrap it all together? Hmmm will be intersting!

The one funny thing on the show last night was that they filmed this particular show outside so they could have an Aussie BBQ. Each of the regulars brought along sides - Hamish & Andy couldn't decide between healthy or not, so they brought apples that were cored, with hot dogs in the middle. Ha ha. One lady said she was too lazy to actually make anything, so she gave Rove a bag of instant potatoes - which he though would be funny to open & pour in his mouth right there (but no - it was not funny). Another guy brought BBQed dim sum. Ewwww

I was not interested enough to stay up and watch the whole show though. I think they should just take Jay Leno - whose show has JUST started being shown here - and move it from it's current time slot of 6pm (we'll NEVER get to see it that darn early!!) to a decent night time slot like 9pm. I know I for sure would watch it every night!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ben & Jerry's - mission complete

We made it to Ben & Jerry's Wednesday night. The place was PACKED - queue out the door! They didn't have a lot of selection of ice cream to buy in pints, so we had them fill up a few pints from the scoop flavours instead (for a dinner party last night - not just to go home & gorge on)! I also had a tiny cup of mint ice cream with huge chunks of chocolate - it was fantastic! They have SUCH a great location as well - right off of Manly beach - that place is going to be crazy busy this summer!

In other news - the weather has been amazing here lately (other than the couple hours of rain & a thunderstorm last night). It has been around 30c every day (90f) and that is also the forecast for the weekend - hooray! I heard on the radio this morning that it is meant to be 40c (110f) on Monday - holy cow! I guess that must be out West where they don't get that cool ocean breeze. BRING ON SUMMER - I'm loving being able to wear my sandals again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

10 months

After 10 months here, you think there wouldn't be many things I hadn't come across.

However, I bought what I would call Apple Sauce the other day - for some reason they call is Apple Puree. I guess that literally makes sense!

Also - I still hadn't figured out how to convert Kilojoules (kJ) to calories. All labels here list kJ and only some list calories as well. So today, I finally looked it up, because seeing kJ on a label means nothing to me.

How many kilojoules in 1 calorie? The answer is 4.1868.

Hmmmm - good to know!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nice Weekend

We had a nice weekend down at my in-law's place - including a lovely BBQ out by the beach!
On the way down we got sidetracked a bit though. We were driving through the small town of Ulladulla and saw a small dog darting in and out of traffic. Murray quickly pulled over and I ran out and called 'HERE PUPPY! ' (even though he was an older dog - a small terrier I think). He turned when he heard me and started running full speed towards me, just as an SUV swerved to miss him - SO close! He was SO scared, and jumped right up into my arms. We turned around and drove back into town and stopped at the local vet that another person who had stopped told us about. They scanned him and could see he had a chip, but the number wasn't registered in their systems, so they said they'd have to keep him there until the vet could call the main chip registration line and find out who is owner is. Poor little thing, he was shaking he was so scared! But they took him in to feed him and give him some water, and I'm sure he'll be fine. I am just SO glad we were able to get him off the road safely!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Almost casual day

All I can think of today is 'I can't wait to wear jeans tomorrow' ha ha - gotta love causual Fridays at work:)

One exciting thing is that the Ben & Jerry's website (no I am NOT obsessed! well... maybe a little bit) has annouced that their Kombi 'The Rolling Cone' will be toured around Melbourne last month and will be touring Sydney this month giving out free ice cream - EXCITING!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A little piece of America

1. 'This is it' was great - I was pretty darn impressed by how good his voice sounded. He did look super skinny, but still showed off some classic dance moves. Would have been an amazing concert. I enjoyed watching the movie though, toe tapping & interesting!

2. Official annoucement (from me at least:)

Ben & Jerry's has opened their first store in Australia and IT'S IN MANLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

It opened this past Monday (so I hear!) and is located down near ribs & rumps, facing Manly beach. It is open 10am to 10pm every day.

Their website says: 'We’ve gone to town and even decked our new pad out with tables, chairs and free wi-fi access so you can sit there enjoying the sea view until the cows come home.'

I am SO there - YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

****** UPDATE - I have been informed that the shop is MASSIVE and they will be giving away free ice cream on November 28th (I wonder if that's the official opening that Ben & Jerry themselves are coming too?). Since that is the day my parents arrive, Mom & Dad - prepare for a Manly walk + ice cream!!! Hooray! Should be a Great way to combat jet lag!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Horses & Stuff

EVERYONE has asked me today who I am betting on - because today is the Melbourne Cup (horse racing).
It's a big deal, apparently.
So finally I gave in and used the coins in my purse to bet.
It was a random draw - so I have $1 on 'Musef' and $2 on 'Spin Around'
I know I won't make big bucks based on those piddly bets - but I hope one of those 2 wins!!!!!

Oh and just FYI - it's BOILING today - 35c (100f) in the city and 37c (104f) out west (where I'm working today). Eeeeeeeeeeek - I am NOT looking forward to getting into my black car when the work day is over!!


I went downstairs at work this afternoon to where they were live streaming the race. Last minute a guy was trying to sell off the last 3 betting spots and I overheard him say one of the horses was Daffodil. I had heard on the radio this morning that Daffodil was in the running to win. So my colleague & I both agreed to put down another $5 each and we did rock paper scissors to see who would draw first - I won, with scissors. I thought my 33.33% chance of picking the slip of paper with Daffodil on it was slim - but I GOT IT!!!!

Our department had ordered a lovely selection of cakes for the ocassion - a massive tiramisu, a chocolate cake with cream & cherries (that's what I had!), fruit & custard tarts and lots of different pastries. WOW! Nice surprise!

Then we all stood around to watch the race - which took mearly a few minutes.

And I lost :(

The winner - was a horse called 'Shocking'

Bummer - oh well, it was kind of fun to participate in the whole event a little bit anyhow:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

So what's new

Well let's see - what's been happening lately....

Last week I went with Helen to see the movie The Time Traveler's Wife - it was wonderful!

Caught up with Cameron & Nicole and toasted their engagement - very exciting!!

I went to Manly beach to soak in the sun with friends Megan & John and managed to get a bit pink around the edges (you know how in the beginning of summer you always forget to put sunblock around the edges of your swimsuit? well that's me - nice red lines - oops!)

Tonight I went to see the movie Nowhere Boy with Anna - wow it was good! It's the story of John Lennon's life - SO much I didn't know! It doesn't come out here until December - this was a sneak peek - I'd recommend it though - I thought it was great.

And tonight - I killed my first Aussie spider.
It was sitting up high on the wall and was big enough that every time I walked by I felt a bit sick to my stomach and backed against the walls - JUST IN CASE HE JUMPS ON ME!!
He was as big as my fist - well, ok - just if you count his legs - his body was about the size of an almond - but still - that's big!
I couldn't' just leave him there til Murray got home - what if he took off and crawled into our bed or something?!?!?!?
So I got out the swifter, put a paper towel on the end, stood as far back as the handle would allow, and smushed him.
Turns out the first time wasn't strong enough - he walked a bit further down the wall like 'what was that??'
So I put some force into my second smush - and that was it.
After gathering him in the paper towel, and wiping some goo off the wall (ewwwwwwwww) I flushed it - you know, just in case he comes back or something. Gross gross gross.

On a nicer note - it was a lovely day and I had lunch out in the sunshine with my boss & our new intern - just a shame I forgot my sunnies at home - DOH! I hate squinting!!