Monday, February 27, 2006
A little known fact about the knitster…

I was baptized twice, once when I was born and again when I was 7 or 8. I tell people that the first time it didn’t take but truth be told my parents moved and the Catholic Church was closer. I was originally baptized Anglican, but with my mother being Catholic, the church felt like I was already “theirs”.

When I was a kid and I found out what was going on, I thought I was double protected, that I could ‘sin’ all I wanted and get away with it, since I had sweet sweet watery insurance. Later my thoughts shifted and I started to worry about what would happen when I died. Would there be two heavens? Two Saint Peters? Would they have a fight to the death ‘celebrity death match’ style for my soul? What about my family? Half would be in the one heaven and the other half would be in the other, could I get day passes to visit everyone?
Would one heaven be more fun? Would one offer “my little pony’s” and the other “cabbage patch doll’s”? I had no pets, so they were no worry but if I had them they would have brought a whole other level to my quandary.

I never brought my issues to the attention of my family or religious official in my life, they all looked at me funny every time I opened my mouth as it was.

These are things that kept me up at night.

On another note, I’ve been enjoying the debate that is going on about drug testing your children, and I think that some great arguments have come up. I agree that if you are at the point where you want to test your child and then chances are you all need therapy, I’ve known families that completely ignored blatant drug addictions, be it pot, cigarettes or even cocaine. Those families aren’t about to test their kids because they don’t want to know about that kind of problems. If I think that my kids are doing drugs and I feel that they are seriously affecting their life then I would definitely confront them and try to get them help. If I was still concerned then I would consider it, someone would probably have to do it and I would rather it be in the privacy of my home and not have to face a doctor to find out. I just hope I never have to make that choice.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
A couple choice words for Governor Mike Rounds of S.D
Fuck you.

Friday, February 24, 2006
Birthday Pants...


Considering the fantasticness that was bestowed upon me for my birthday I feel the need to share the wealth....

I hope your birthday fun times don't result in a terrible tattoo like this one!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Freak Flag
I got my eyebrows waxed.

I have an expression of shock and surprise (and lopsidedness) for the next two weeks while they grow out..

I still paid her!

I will be hiding under the covers until then... send food.

Well yesterday was boring, but nice to just relax and stay in doing some laundry and cooking.

There is a new at home test for drugs parents can do to their kids and in some cases (through their hair) without the child's knowledge. The questions have come out about whether or not that is an invasion of your children's privacy.

My family has never had to deal with hard drug issues but you have to figure that if it has gotten to the point where you need a drug test, chances are neither of you trust each other. What do you guys think? Should parents be able to drug test their own kids, in the privacy of their own home? Is it okay to do it without them knowing?

The Australian Tourism Board is under fire for making an ad campaign asking "Where the bloody hell are you?" while people go golfing with kangaroos and such.

So to my family and friends I demand come visit me I ask...
Where the bloody hell are you?!?!

Well yesterday was boring, but nice to just relax and stay in doing some laundry and cooking.

There is a new at home test for drugs parents can do to their kids and in some cases (through their hair) without the child's knowledge. The questions have come out about wether or not that is an invasion of your children's privacy.

My family has never had to deal with hard drug issues but you have to figure that if it has gotten to the point where you need a drug test, chances are neither of you trust each other. What do you guys think? Should parents be able to drug test their own kids, in the privacy of their own home? Is it okay to do it without them knowing?

The Australian Tourism Board is under fire for making an ad campaign asking "Where the bloody hell are you?" while people go golfing with kangaroos and such.

So to my family and friends I demand come visit me I ask...
Where the bloody hell are you?!?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
When I was leaving for Australia I felt very lucky that while I was leaving my family and everything I knew, I would still have my friends on blogger to make me feel at home.

I never thought of how much the time difference and lack of constant internet would change everything. I show up late for all the interesting conversations and recent blog drama has made me feel more separated then ever.

I've managed to make a few good friends here and my latest wave of homesickness has passed, but I can't help but feel out of place, especially here.

I miss my brother... this week he was learning a poem in English class called "the tale of the ancient mariner" and he remembered it was redone as an Iron Maiden and yelled out "Hey I know this song!" making the entire class laugh at him. I think he should have started singing.

Monday, February 20, 2006
Do you think children are stupider then their parents 50 years ago?
No, but I think that television reporters are stupid.

A report on "A Current Affair" decided that students are stupider then their parents when they were in primary and secondary school, both private and public.
How do you think they determined this?
By gaining access to a wide variety of student records over a period of time, from various backgrounds and education systems?

Nope, they shoved 20 students (apparently at random) in a room and gave them the standardized tests their parents have to endure in their education.

Did that ask current educators about why these children are doing "so poorly"?

Not a chance, they interviewed previous educator who now work in the private tutoring system and allowed them to advertise for their services as part of the shock value.
"Your children are failing in the basic skills, but these fine people have the answers"

The answer they got? "'Mickey Mouse' subjects are taking over our children's learning time which eats away at the time previously spent on 'the basics"

Perhaps that "media" class is offensive to the writers of "A Current Affair" because it teaches students how to recognize the blatant twisting of facts and selective information their shady program preaches.

Television shows like "A Current Affair" could not risk interviewing current teachers because they might tell frightening truth that both television executives and parents do not want to hear. Using a television as a babysitter and a lack of parental interest in a students education have a lot to do with the differences in student abilities.

The skills that adults need in the workforce have changed and public interest in what our students learn has shifted the curriculum, a group of lazy teachers had nothing to do with it.

Everyone has dealt with teachers in their lives and assume that makes them experts in what it takes to be a teacher, what it takes to adapt a lesson for a variety of learning styles and how overcrowded classrooms have hindered individual student success.

I'm one semester into my teaching education and I'm already disillusioned.

We all know I don't believe in half the generalizations I have presented, especially about parents. Sensationalist televisions shows just angry up my blood.

Saturday, February 18, 2006
My brain..

For my assignment that I'm writing today I have to reflect on how I feel about certain teaching styles and I what I think would best describe me.

Ubie alerted me to this dandy web-page that allows for self-reflection and the opportunity for others to talk about you. Since I would rather waste time on the internet then actually get work done, I set one up.

have a gander and tell me what I'm like

Thursday, February 16, 2006
First Exam Down..
thanks for all the support guys, I feel much better and didn't drink that much gin. I've made a few friends that I will hang out with this weekend and thats good enough for me.

I wrote my very first university exam for my masters today.
What a joke.

60% of my grade determined in one hour. If you can figure out how that works you let me know.
The questions were very practical, making sure you are going to be a half decent teacher.
"You are in the middle of a science experiment with a class, a parent come storming in yelling at you. How do you handle the situation?"

A lot of situation questions like that.

I'm pretty sure i did fine.

Its time for some Frickin Freak Flags (bite you Nick and your alliteration ban).

When you start living with someone for the first time (especially someone you share a bed with) your freak flags flare. All the things you thought you didn't care about you figure out that you really really did..
Like the shower curtain? must be closed after a shower to prevent mold.

The television? quiet. I'm not deaf and he is. I fear for my fantastic hearing.

I can handle my long hairs all over the floor in the bathroom but his hair from triming the goatee all over the sink drive me nuts.

People who show up to class looking like they just left their glamour shots photo shoot are pathetic. You are there to learn, not to enter an ass giggling contest.

enough flags for this week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I didn't always hit the gin, there were times that I fit in..

no.... thats a lie... I've never really felt like I fit in.

It doesn't matter what country you go to school in, or if its high school, undergrad or a masters program.

you will always deal with the same shit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I will post 3 times in one day and you will love it.
1) I concluded my camping story, sorry if part two is a bit of a let down but I lived to tell and thats all that matters.

2) I put in my two cents on Cheney shooting people. When I am so close to death that I need an ambulance within 10 minutes of me at all times I hope I will think twice about running around and killing anything... just doesn't seem like good karma.

3) Been here a month and already the politics are getting to me. Currently the Australian government is battling over who should get to decide if RU486 should be prescribed. I personally don't know enough about the drug to have a real opinion on it, but if it is safe and effective it could be a great alternative for women. Those that live in remote parts of Australia (you know, anywhere in the middle!) and can't get to a clinic in time and could be prescribed and supervised taking the pill would get major benifit other then that the prospect of a chemically enduced abortion is kinda scary.

One "Liberal" member of Australia's Parliament decided that if she couldn't make people realize the effect of abortion from a "moral" point of view she would bank of the fact that everyone is a little bit racist and make them fear the possibility of an all-muslim Australia.
Oh no she didn't!!
oh yes she did and the fall out is ugly
and so it should be, you don't get to run around making racist and completely unfounded comments on national television and get away with it.

As if TFG wasn't having a hard enough time getting me in the ocean already, the beach closest to our city filled with hundreds of sharks on a feeding frenzy (eating fish not people). Well one guy did get bitten.

Camping Part 2
When we left off left of TFG and I had decided to lose the crazy's and find a place to stay. Our first attempt at calling a cab failed because we had no clue where we where, apparently cabbies need an address to go to in order to find you! We decided to walk off the beach and up to the main road in the hopes of finding a street sign (they are very elusive in Queensland) and thereby being able to locate a cab.

We called a cab and were told it would a few minutes and that if we wanted to go back to Brisbane tonight it would cost close to two hundred dollars. We knew that our cab ride would have to take us to a hotel that still had a reception office open past midnight. We started getting nervous about how much that would cost in this sleepy coastal town, it was then that we saw the cops go down the windy road and onto the beach.

We weren't sure if the cops would bust them for public drinking and camping, but we honestly knew we wouldn't feel bad if they were. The cops came back up the road 10 minutes later without our fellow campers and we decided to flag them down to ask about possible trains.

The police officers explained that there was no train up to the small town but that the bus would be running in the morning. They agreed that we would need to find a place to stay for the night and that the beach wasn't the best idea.
It was then that I got do to something I've never done before and I hope to never to again. I got in the back of a cop car.
The officers were fantastic and drove us to several hotels that they knew were clean and safe (but not expensive) and they knew the owners wouldn't mind waking up to let us in. They even woke up the hotel owners for us and made sure we had a room before they left.
We had a bed with better sheets then our apartment, we were able to shower and slept like logs... cool air conditioned logs.

The next morning we decided that we would head back to Brisbane as soon as possible so we could spend the rest of the weekend in the comfort of our own apartment never to leave enter a camper van ever again, but on our walk to the bus station we saw the beach.
And it was beautiful.

We went for a lovely swim, had a delicious Tasmanian smoked salmon sandwich and took a safe ride on the train back to our apartment.

We have no intention to speak to Spazz ever again. They called us several times and we answered it once, just to wrap up our relationship and found out that they ended up driving back to the camp ground drunk. So glad we left.

New rule for camping or travelling anywhere in Australia:

No camper vans.
No groups larger then 4
No trips where TFG and I aren't able to leave at our leisure.
No travelling with people we meet at a bar.

Monday, February 13, 2006
a note to Cheney...
quail... shoot this if you must...

lawyer.... don't shoot.

simple enough?

Friday, February 10, 2006
**Disclaimer: Those of you that read this and know my or TFG's family, and or read our co-blog, you are to never mention the camping trip! Thank you. **

When we arrived here a few weeks ago and began taking in the local color, TFG and I noticed that the Aussies we were meeting were very outgoing/adventurous and would invite people places while barely knowing them.
We got invited to go "camping" with a very outgoing group of Aussies. We were told to bring just sleeping bags and food, and that the rest was taken care of. The man who had invited us (who we shall call "Spazz" from here on out) said he had a camper and several tents and we would all be comfortable.

He asked us to be ready by 3pm on Friday, and that he would pick us up in the camper and take us grocery shopping and to the bottle shop for booze. By 4:30 he finally calls and lets us know he is on his way. We have been sitting patiently in our apartment watching the dark rain clouds roll in for an hour and a half and are getting nervous. When Spazz arrived we decided to embrace the spirit of adventure and just go, how bad could it really be?

We start driving through town and TFG and I realize from our couch-like, elevated seats in the back of the camper, that Spazz is driving it like he would drive his taxi. Like an asshole.
We get to the end of town to meet the other people that we will be camping with and they all look normal and unlikely to sacrifice us in a pagan ceremony. In hindsight that would have at least been more interesting. After meeting everyone at their work, we drive out all over town picking up various items and leaving cars at people's homes until we are all set to get the hell out of town.

And it starts to rain.

With TFG secured in the front of the van and me in the back with three other women I barely know, we are off. With a few stops along the way.

First stop was to the bottle shop, because whats a camping trip without disgusting amounts of liquor? TFG and I get a case of beer, thinking we could trade it for food later with the other campers since at this point our chances of getting to a decent grocery store at 8pm is slightly sketchy.
Now up until this point, it had all been fun and games. Then SPAZZ decided that driving a standard, heavy camper van in the dark, in the rain just wasn't exciting enough and he needed to start drinking. While driving.

Our Canadian politeness knows no bounds and we said nothing, hoping that one drink would be the end of it.
Then we got to the grocery store.

At first Spazz couldn't find the grocery so the decided to drive the camper through the middle of a pedestrian mall to ask someone. He then decided to peel out of the mall at a rather rapid pace making a sharp turn and coming within 12 feet of a frail and stunned looking old woman. Lucky for me, I was in the back, unable to see the delight in Spazz's face at the poor woman's shock and horror.
At the grocery TFG and I decided that this might very well be our last meal, and blew any diet we may have been kidding ourselves that we were on. Chips, Red Bull and Tim-Tams (more on those later) were purchased and they were delicious.
After stopping at the grocery so that Spazz could eat one kilo of pasta salad and have one more drink.

When we finally got the so-called camp site (which was actually some co-worker's property) the night began to deteriorate. The other campers had been there for an hour and a half and still had no tents set up and the rain was coming down hard. So we sat in the camper as it slowly filled with mozzies and drank vodka and soda based beverages and beer that had been chilling in the sink filled with ice and a leaking bottle of jungle strength bug ointment. Tasty!!

After sitting in the camper for two hours and one failed attempt at peeing in the woods, a decision had been made and we were leaving the campground to go into town, supposedly to find a Hostel to spend the night.

The hilly road to the beach was well navigated by TFG and Spazz behind the wheel (with 2 drinks under his belt) and we found a beach with the least sand in all of Australia and the worst lighting. The rain was still coming down and the 4 other people we had gone with decided it was time to drink and settle in for the night. When TFG and I addressed the lack of places to sleep and the massive "no camping sign" right under the camper, we were told that "oh the police never come by here, there won't be any problems!"

The camper was quite small and the front seats didn't recline. Comfortably about 2 people could sleep. Uncomfortably maybe 3. The other two would be stuck out in the rain in a tent under a no camping sign.
When we explained the whole "fear of camping and getting a fine" thing, Spazz thought it would be a fine idea to put up the tents and just put all our belongings (cameras, clothes and such) in the tents and thereby having enough room in the camper for our bodies. That way when we passed out from all the liquor we wouldn't hear the tents being robbed.
It was now midnight so TFG and I decided it was time to get out of there and attempted to call a cab....

Part 2 to come soon...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I haven't experienced dial-up since grade 8.

I have been reduced to dial up again while I wait for my broadband connection to be hooked up.
Waiting for images to load is painful.
I feel like I am in some sick S&M relationship. The dial-up is painfully slow for my ADD internet style and yet I keep coming back for more. I have to pay for every time I dial up (thirty cents) so I cling to this pathetic connection that tortures me to prevent it from disconnecting.

I'm such a fucking nerd.

Sunday, February 05, 2006
It Feels Like Home to Me..
We moved into the the apartment.
We now have an address and a home phone.
That feels nice.

We can cook for ourselves (which we do fantastically) and watch movies and such on the free channels.
The bed is huge and comfy.

My course load is feeling a little heavy on my quickly shrinking frame.
Its amazing what walking 5km a day can do.

The course I'm in right now is trying to "get me in touch with my feelings" about being a teacher and wants me to write my assignments with "feeling" adjectives.
Bunch of new-age hippy crap.
I agree with them a little, it is important for teachers to get intouch with their feelings so that they can keep from killing all the little buggers, but a whole course?

Betty Friedan died. I watched a lovely piece on the Australian news about her.

What is with the middle east freaking out over a Danish cartoon?!?!
Is it as big of a deal back home as it is here?

I miss my blog community and can't wait to go onto MY computer at MY leisure and click on all the bookmarks leading me back to all of you.

With the price of booze around here there will be less drunk posts I swear.
TFG did just buy me a bottle gin yesterday though. I love him all the more because he remembered the tonic.

Miss all of ya!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Even if it gets heavy, we'll all float on...
Our new hostel is… colorful.
We have Kiwi’s from small “sheep-shaggin” towns (his words not mine) who likes to make 9/11 jokes.
We have a drunk Irish woman.
We have a baby, a cute little baby, named Lily. She is darling, and her parents give her cola and smoke very close to her. I could really like her parents if it weren’t for the complete lack of parenting skills.
We have a drunk Irish man, who gets beaten up by the Irish woman when he gets saucy. Which he does often.
We have a Brit who makes money working as a sex-text operator at a computer terminal. He gets paid a hundred dollars a day to sit in front of a computer to text message dirty men.
Not a single resident (except me) is tattoo free.
We have geckos, possums and bugs and everyone is friendly.
We move out on Friday and can’t wait.

School is going well. Stressful but well.
I am taking 2 full credits in two and a half weeks.
9-4 everyday with readings and night and writing on the weekends. I’m a tad bit tired.
I’m happy though. I studying so I can do what I love, a dream I have had since I was young. The program is small and the teachers a wonderful and understanding.
The course material is relevant and interesting, making it feel worthwhile.
We watch corner gas on DVD, Australia kicks ass, but not that much ass.
We download “Lost” on itunes. The new season is just starting here.
I’m going to be very tired for the next 18 months, but tired and happy.

I’m going to start a lovely tally of the differences between Australia (some only about Brisbane possibly) and North America.
These are differences I have observed and not complaints, cause quite frankly Australia rocks.

They greet you with “How ya goin’” or “Heya”
Goodbye is “See ya”
Businesses don’t have hours of operation; they have “trading hours”
MAC makeup is twice as expensive.
Everything closes at 5. Seriously. Most are closed on Sunday or open for 4 hours.
Some cross walks have dedicated crossing times, so people walk ALL OVER, diagonal and all crazy it’s like watching a game of frogger.
The toilets have no handle, but two buttons.
Australian television has an obsession with Simpsons, which is fantastic! Its on ALL the time! 3 hours every morning on the weekends, and all hours of the day on the weekdays. Every time I sit to dinner or breakfast on the weekend I get to watch while I eat.
If you can see a bug in Australia, it will bite you. If you can’t see a bug in Australia it’s already bitten you. May only apply to the jungle nature of Brisbane.
Red Pepper is called Capsicum
Rasin Bran is called “Saltana Bran”
Rice Krispies are called “Rice Bubbles”
Burger King is “Hungry Jacks”
The pharmacy is called the “chemist”
There is a massive aisle in the grocery store dedicated to coffee/tea like drinks. 3 sections dedicated to tea and instant coffee, one small shelf dedicated to regular ground coffee beans. And instant coffee is disgusting, I still drink it though.
If you order a “coffee” at any coffee shop, you get a cappuccino.
Telephones are EXPENSIVE! You pay for the privilege to rent the telephone line (sometimes at least $30) and then you pay to have each call connected (17-47 cents).
Cell phones are very popular, and pay as you go is cheap. You never pay for calls that are made do your phone.
SIM cards rule.
Even with all the windows, screens are apparently rare (our new windows have them!)
High quality used cars are cheap (under three grand).
The music is pretty much on the same level as the US, but the random songs they put in between the top 40 stuff remind me of grade 9.
Rupert Murdoch owns print media, cable television networks, cable/telephone/internet/cell phone providers and possibly radio stations.

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