Friday, March 21, 2008

Pictures from Australia

Okay, now that I'm home I can upload some pics. I didn't write about my last couple of days, but you'll see the pictures...wildlife sanctuary with lots of cool animals, going out with some Americans/German we met in the hostel...


Monday, March 17, 2008

Mid-night adventures

Well, I've made it to my new hostel, which is much nicer than the last, and it's really cool. I did my long workout today, which I had to pay an outrageous price for (the gym is swanky and expensive), and tried to swim, but the pool is salt-water! I couldn't stand it for long - it was burning my nose! I'll have to do the swims this weekend.

So, last night at about 3:00 a.m., I woke up coughing with a burning, dry throat. I drank some water and ate a tic-tac, but it was getting worse. I was really groggy, but I noticed that two other girls in the room were coughing as well. My eyes were starting to water, and I felt like I was breathing fire. The other girls ran out to the bathroom, and I followed them - they were experiencing the same sensation! As we wandered back, we saw one other guy go stumbling out as well. We headed downstairs to the 7-11 and got a juice. The we stood on the sidewalk with a few guys that were still up, speculating about what could be going on. We knew they had cleaned the room that day - did they spray chemicals? If so, how come it didn't bother us until 3:00 a.m.? One of their friends came into the conversation and said, "Aha - yep, pepper spray - that happened to me once." We were skeptical. "Yeah, yeah, whatever..." we laughed. Why on earth would there be pepper spray in our room? Soon, another of their friends stopped by, and we told him the story as well, and he said "Aha! Pepper spray - that sucks." We were hysterical at that point. The guys were sure that someone had sprayed pepper spray in our room, which seemed ludicrous, but honestly, we couldn't think of a better explanation. Anyway, we hung out on the corner for a half an hour and then went back to bed. Thankfully, whatever it was had dissipated by then. Needless to say, I was happy to move on this morning!

Oh, and BTW, the answer is (...drumroll...) water spins clockwise in Australia! How about at home? I don't even know!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Thanks for the comments - I miss you guys! I'm so jealous about next weekend too :( I've been trying to figure out a way that I could jet to ABQ, grab my festival dresses, and still make it to Florida. Oh, and I have to be fresh and not jet-lagged on Monday, because I have 12 days to write a very long report. Don't think it's going to work. Can we go to MagFest (please please please???) I haven't watched the water going down to see which way it spins...but I'll check :) I arrived safely at my hostel yesterday, went for a run, and went out with my two new Irish friends Orla and Michelle. They're really cool girls. There are a ton of Irish people in Melbourne, actually. They have really neat accents. Last night was fun too, but I finally had to take off when the Irish/English rugby game came on. It was a little intense for me at 2:00 a.m. :)

Today I took a train for 45 mins to Mordialloc and saw the Duhks! It was really fun - I just love the festival atmosphere. I walked around for a while, waded in the bay, and saw a few bands. I also saw some Tibetan monks. They were there with their own area/tent from a local monastary. I didn't get to see them chant, but I watched them making a sand drawing.

It was really, really hot today. I think it was about 40 C, which is about 104 F. I thought I was going to have a heat stroke. I tried to stay out of the sun, but I had a beer, a gatorade, a lemon soda, and about 9 bottles of water, and I still felt dehydrated! The Duhks show was good but short - I got to see their new singer for the first time. By the time they came up it was 4:00, so it was a teeny bit cooler, but still hot. Not too many people by the stage, but people slowly started to drift up while they were playing. I danced like crazy and was all dirty and sweaty by the time they finished! I went and talked to Tania and Sarah afterwards, but only for a minute. I really wanted to hang out with them or something, but I never have the guts to ask. They were kind of busy and no one else even came out. I just can't think of a normal sounding way to be like "Can we hang out?" I don't want to be like a crazy stalker - "Hi - I'm your biggest fan. Can I follow you around and be your friend?" Nope, that line won't work. It's a dilemma.

I'm moving hostels tomorrow to a place down by the beach. The place I'm in now is a total dump. Ryan would be indignant. I don't think he'd stay here (love you, baby :)) I don't really care though - the people are nice, and it's a bed! The showers are unisex, which is interesting... This week I'm going to try to get a little bit of a tan, and not get stung by a jellyfish. Not sure what else I'll do, although there's a wildlife sanctuary in Healesville that I'd like to visit. Have to take a bus though - could take a while. Also, everyone keeps telling me that I need to go do a tour of Great Ocean Road, but I hate going on touristy stuff like that. I'd prefer to rent a car and drive it, but I'm scared to try to drive on the wrong side of the road!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Finally finished work, and I'm feeling a little homesick and overwhelmed this morning. All the pent-up stress from the past week is coming out. I'm just getting ready to leave my hotel and jump over to my first hostel. I talked Ryan this morning, which made me feel better, and I just had a very pleasant interaction with the desk manager. I'm sure a good workout and a nap will do a lot towards bringing my spirits up.

Went out with my friend Tim last night for a friend's birthday, which was great. I met a nice Irish girl who invited me to a BBQ tonight, so that will be lots of fun! Megs - I think it might be a sign :) Is tomorrow St. Paddy's? I might be in for a ride!

Are you guys reading? Haven't heard from anyone in a while...


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The end is in sight...

...of work, that is. We've been working 12-14 hour days, I'm a day behind on my workouts, and right now I'm sitting at a laundromat because I'm out of socks and "clean" was starting to get relative. I have hope, though! Tomorrow is our last full day of work! Friday we'll give a briefing and do some final data aggregation, and then we're finished! At least until I get back to Albuquerque and have to churn out a full report in 11 days.

I'm actually having a really good time at work because I'm learning a lot, and I think overall everyone is working well together and we're doing a good job. I'm starting to get a little burnt out, but I'm running on adrenaline because I want to get as much done as possible.

I haven't managed to do anything fun this week, but by Friday I'll be making plans for the rest of my "fun" time. I've got some contacts. I know some people.

Wish everyone could be here to enjoy this beautiful city!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Day Off!

Finally had a day off today, which was really nice and lazy. I met up with my friends Brendon and Kate last night for dinner and drinks, and we walked around down by the river. There's a festival this weekend, and there were fireworks and tons of people everwhere. It was loads of fun, but we got tired early. This morning I got up and went to breakfast with some of the guys that I'm traveling with. Then I went down to the beach at St. Kilda and met up with Brendon and Kate again. We walked the pier and saw these huge jellyfish floating in the water, some starfish, and even a couple of little bitty fairy penguins. We didn't get in the water, but I'll have plenty of time for that next week. I had a traditional meat pie for lunch, which I wasn't too crazy about, and a gelato that was heavenly.

We headed back to their apartment in the city and chilled out for a bit. I got to call and talk to Megs and Ryan, and then I took a nap at their place. Got up, went to dinner, and now I'm back at the hotel and tired again already. I think I'm going to watch a movie and go to bed early :) I have to get up and work in the morning - I have a feeling this week is going to be long. Still having a blast though, and it was really good to get to hang out with Brendon and Kate.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bittersweet (and in a hurry)

Okay, I have to hurry because I'm exhausted, I still have work to do, and I only have 6 mins of internet time left!

Still having a blast, but getting a little tired. We've been working long hours, and working out by myself SUCKS. I mean it really sucks. Meghan and Laura - I miss you!!!

On a positive note, I saw my friend Tim from camp last night. We went out for dinner and drinks, talked about the last 7 years (I had no idea it had been that long. I'm a bad counter, apparently), and looked at old pictures of us together that I didn't remember. It was really great - I had a wonderful time.

I swam 1800 meters today in between my first 11 hours of work and the last hour that I just did, and now I have to go write some stuff up. Argh. I think we're going to get a day off on Sunday!

Monday, March 3, 2008

love, love, love


Well, today was GORGEOUS. I got up early this morning for a work meeting that lasted 5 minutes, so I decided to go ahead and get my double workout out of the way. I walked a few blocks to a city gym and paid a few bucks to use the pool, which was small but nice. On the way back, I was filled with this amazing sense of the awesomeness of the universe. It was about 10 am, beautiful weather, and I happened upon a juice bar where I got some sustainance, anticipating my 70 min. bike ride. Then I wandered down the sidewalk, smiling so hard I felt like crying. The sun was shining and people were smiling I'm going to quote some Pierce Pettis to describe how I felt this morning...

"My heart goes a flare in the night...

Oh my soul
Feels the undertow
Caught up in the flood
Of more love than I can hold
The tide comes in my heart,
My heart goes out"

And that just carried me through the day. I mean, this place rocks. And I'm really happy. I wish you all could be here!

I spent the rest of the day hopping around town with a friend from work. Tried a veggie restaurant that was good, visited a couple of craft markets (I know, I'm an addict), and made it down to a beautiful beach with some great sunshine. I think I might stay down near the beach after we finish up work. Everyone that I'm working with is kind of doing their own thing, which is cool. I'm excited to catch up with some friends this week, although I'm also enjoying spending a little time alone, believe it or not, and everyone that I've talked to here has been really friendly.

More soon...