26 November 2007

you know you're jet lagged when...

it's 237am and you're not going to sleep anytime soon (mostly becuase you slept till 230pm this arvo).

so, instead, i'm gonna do the most productive thing ever and create a "you know you've studied abroad in australia when.." mostly because i was inspired by a list i found on the internet that is only halfway decent, and some of the things i reckon were inside jokes for this person's own time there.

so, without further ado, i'm making these up on the spot and will probably need to add more later when i think of them,

you know you've studied abroad in australia when....!

...you became a pro at knowing world times ("oh, it's noon here? that means it's 6 in bangledesh and 8 in london and too late to call home")

...without skype, you probably never would have talked to your family after the first 2 weeks

...aussies told you about the much-feared 'dropbears' and you believed them

...then, when you found out they were kidding, you still proceeded to call koalas 'dropbears' because it made them potentially interesting, rather than just the boring sleeping buggers that they are

...tim tams and cadbury became a suitable meal so long as you supplemented it with a fruit

...you began to shorten every word you possibly could (brekky, arvo, macca's, chocky, etc..)

...50c cones at maccas were a must every time in the cbd

...oh yeah, downtown does not exist, it's the city centre or, more likely, the cbd

...aussies tried to get you to try vegemite, but you knew better

...but then ate it drunk one night (NEVER AGAIN!)

...bad day? tim tam slams make it all better

...you have been to more parts of australia than the average australian

...your final exams are worth more than 50% of your grade

...because you only have 2 asessments a semester

...you own multiple thongs because you like to match your outfits

...you know what a thong actually is (and you have hardcore tanlines from them)

...when you tell people about your eleven hours of class, they know you are an arts student

...and it's not class, it's subjects

...you live in a college but go to university

...aussies shun you for your love of peanut butter and jelly

...and they can't comprehend peanut butter and chocolate until you get them addicted to reeses' sent from home ("can you ask your parents to send more???")

...leggings aren't just for gymnasts anymore

...you became a hardcore environmentalist when it came to saving plastic bags

...but can't be bothered to take a 4 minute shower, no matter how low the reservoirs are

...speaking of which, you refuse to believe there's a drought when it rains as much as it does

...it's not unusual for it to be raining, then sunny, then raining, then sunny, then raining, then sunny, then raining, then sunny, then raining...within a 30 minute period.

...oh, it might hail too.

...there are "two dollar coins" and "laundry dollars" and "macca's cone coins"

...you have no problem line drying your laundry in order to save that dollar

...warm weather was a nice welcome until you realized it brought heaps and heaps of FLIES

...you have been stopped by the tramcops and lived to tell the tale (without a ticket!)

...you knew what you were doing each night based on the day of the week: mondays at turf, tuesdays at eurotrash, wednesdays at pa's, thursdays at pugg's, friday's at persy's, and saturday and sunday were days of rest (sometimes).

...the guys wear shorter shorts than you do

...aussie rules footy became the greatest sport ever

...pies are made out of meats, not fruits

...pumpkin pie doesn't exist, but you eat roasted pumpkin regularly

...sticky. date. pudding.

...you found nemo while snorkeling the great barrier reef

...you went surfing in cold & rainy weather because the waves were better

...you stayed in a hostel because it offered a free beer on arrival

...you shared a room with 7 other people of different sexes, ethnicities, and showering preferences.

...you still completely miss the point of cricket.

...you could never turn down 7$ for 4 litres of wine. much love, goon.

...you've drank out of a goon bag in public

...you just don't root for a footy team (and you cringed when other americans said they did)

...you wondered why the half-flush and full-flush weren't just labeled "#1" and "#2"

...you know the toilets don't spin in any direction, just downward

...you've handfed kangaroos and wallabies, and it never got old

...you walk everywhere to save tram money, but when you have to buy a tram ticket, you make sure to get your money's worth ("who wants to go to st kilda??")

...no matter how hot the day got, you refused to go swimming in st. kilda

...you have seen more of melbourne than any australian.

...you know it's not ketchup, it's tomato sauce

...tomato sauce comes in easy-to-squeeze packets, but hell if you're gonna pay 30c for it

...you consider everyone to be your mate

...you got disappointed when you realized that most aussies do not greet you saying "gday mate"

...you have picked up on the dance floor of pugg's

...and pa's

...and eurotrash

...but not turf, you have standards

...you are more than willing to spend more to fly with qantas (free alcohol!)

...you walked into a shop and before the attendant could say anything you say "how ya goin?"

...you read for your subjects diligently for the first 2 weeks, then knew better

...you learned how to properly BS your way through any tutorial

...you say 'tea' instead of dinner

...you know the difference between brekky, lunch, afternoon tea, tea, and supper

...you know the XXXX is not a porn rating

...and you got excited when you ordered a 'pot of gold' in queensland

...you know each states' beer

...premixed cans of alcohol just made things so much easier

...the phrase 'i reckon' doesn't mean you're a hillbilly from the South

...you'll forever call them sunnies and bathers

...you got excited the first time you unknowingly pronounced 'banana' the aussie way

...you can tell the difference between a british, australian, and new zealand accent

...you know that new zealanders are to australia what canadians are to the USA

...no matter way day of the week, or what the weather, chances are, there's a BBQ on southlawn (free food!)

...boost juice became the answer to the worst cheap redwine hangover

...dressing like harry potter for tea lost its novelty, fast

...no matter how bad things get, no worries.

...you know the difference between chips, chips, and chips

...you learned which way to look when you cross the street (or, if you are in sydney, you just look down to know which way to look)

...the first time an aussie said something was "cool as" you waited for them to finish

...you quickly learned aussie beer >>>>>> american beer

...you know biscuits are cookies, and scones are biscuits, and pastries are scones. phew.


...walking home barefoot is nothing to be ashamed of (especially if the trams stopped running and your shoes are giving you blisters)

...when someone yells "aussie aussie aussie!" you know how to respond ("oi oi oi!")

...you know good mexican food is nonexistent

...aussie guys wear skinnier jeans than you do

...you end every sentence as if you are asking a question

...freddo frogs and carmello koalas

...bundy & coke was for bogans (but you drank it anyway)

...you knew which items were acceptable to buy homebrand (home brand timtams = NOT)

...on at least one occassion, kids streaked through your lectures

...and your lecturer just kept lecturing

...you know kookaburras are nice to look at...but hearing them at 430am SCREECHING is enough to make you want to wipe them out of existence

...you have gotten a bag of chips, a slice of pizza, 2 potato cakes, and a dimsim from smiley's..all for only $1.70

...you may not know what dimsims actually are made of, but you know they are NOT dimsums.

...you ate kangaroo and enjoyed the horrified reactions of people back home

...you are amazed by the many flavours of kitkat

...you could spot another american kilometers away (north face, anyone?)

...you quickly learned the conversions to kilometers and celsius

...even with only 5 tv channels, there is still always something to watch

...you got mad at your friends when they told you what happened on (insert tv series) because it hasn't aired yet in AUS

...no one wears UGG boots in public

...it's not "aus-tray-lee-a", it's just "stray-ya"

...you begin to wear sunscreen no matter how cold or cloudy it is

...lollies don't have a stick, licorice is black, jelly is jell-o, capsicum is red pepper, not is zero, zee is zed, and you went on holidays, not vacations.

...by the end of the trip, you could pull off at least a half-convincing accent (enough to fool drunk aussies or new americans)


...you can't be bothered to start your 2000 word essay.

...and it's essay, not paper, no matter how many words it is.

...you start adding the letter U to words, and replace Z for the much more sensible S

...you tell your american friends to skul their beer and they just don't understand

...you know melbourne is 'melbin', brisbane is 'brisbin', cairns is 'cans', and canberra is 'canbra'...and hearing it pronounced another way makes you cringe

...but queensland is still queens-land.

...you know pedestrians never really have the right of way

...the city circle tram is not for tourists, just people too cheap to spend 3.30$ on a ticket

...swot vac was an excuse for a holiday

...sweet, ripper, mad, rad, tops, and sick all mean good. stick bloody in front of it when you REALLY mean it.

...when you got cold, you just threw on a jumper

ok.im gonna stop now. i could seriously go on and on and on...

24 November 2007

homecoming, thanks kanye

first of all, if you havent heard the new kanye cd yet, go steal it off limewire or something.

second, there is a song on htere he does with chris martin from coldplay called homecoming, it is about chicago. as if it werent great enough (and it is) i messed around with the lyrics and came up with this gem...

i met this town when i was 2 days old
and what i love most, she had so much old
people -- excuse me little leeshy i know you don't know me, but
i know your daddy and, he brings me my mail and,
from that point on she had made her mark
friends come from outta town, i like to tow them off,
they tend to act bored, i say it's not my fault
and make them at least fake it because i know she's soft
and when i grew up she showed me how to bike downtown
go from budnik's to totura's to the lpd
and i told her in my heart is where she'll always be
she never mess with college kids cuz they always leave but
she says she knows that some day they'll be back with kids,
knows if you're born here that you'll always be sucked in
i guess that's why last winter i saw on my drive,
every one from the class of, the class of two thousand and five

but if you really care for her, then you would never let jewel build
and make chipains struggle for business, but when you shop
it always seems like jewel's got pop for cheap and,
she said you left your bg fries and they're greasy like you,
they melt on your tongue and stick to yo heart like glue
but they not good for you but you just got to
and macca's does it up but it's just not new
now everyone's got their stomach filled up all wrong
i guess you never know what you got till its gone
i guess that's why i'm here and i'm still coming back home
and guess that i'll always somehow end up back home
everyday i think of where i'll be ten years from now
living here in australia, my brother's frat starts with tau
but no matter what, i'll put two thousand dollars down
to fly back on a plane to my home, l-town

do you think about me now and then?
do you think about me now and then?
cause i'm coming home again
maybe, do you remember when,
keepataw days beer garden
oooh, now i'm coming home again
i'm in home again
maybe, do you remember when
nick burgers and the christmas inn
now i'm coming home again
maybe we can start again

let's dance to joy division

and celebrate the irony
that everything is going wrong
but we're so happy

ALRIGHT! well lucky you kids, you get a whole nother blog entry! one last go before i go home, that's what ia lways sa. actually i never say that. but i could. and isn't that what i always say?

so..this is it. my life is packed in 2 suitcases (hopefully under 23 kilos each) and a carryon.. i was actually surprised at how well everything has fit considering how much i have bought.. or haven't bought, but God knows the money in my bank account went somewhere. i have heaps of clothes and stuff i'm not even trying to bring home.. i had this big aspriation to make this brilliant scrapbook..yep..that's all in the trash. all this stuff i wanted to bring home.. trash. which is all as well because i have no room for it back home. i have heaps and heaps of trash though and i cant be bothered to take it allllll the way down to the dumpster.. so it's staying in my room. maybe i'll drag it out to the hallway. yeah, i'll probably do that. but only the boxes without my name on them..

went out for one last time tonight with claire and her sister, who is pretty much my twin except cooler. if that's even possible, but let's not kid ourselves. we went to the only hiphop/rap/blackpersonmusic dance club in melbourne which was heaps of fun, and it was even better because 1) aussies CANNOT dance. to hear akon and kanye and see people doing the same moves they'd do if bryan adams or something would come on.. it's pretty hilarious, but it also means that i come across as a decent dancer..so that take laura MMMM.

how am i going to get home 2 blown up footies? how do i get the air out of them?

seriously though.. i reckon i have more trash than i have luggage.

also, i am worried about the stupid kangaroo at customs. damn californians, go eat some tofu.

the election is tomorrow and i dont even get to vote. havent we decided that i am more australian than most australians?

i never got to finish my apple dedication. i reckon i still have a chance to tomorrow but i probably wont be bothered.

my stupid iphone keeps reverting back to chicago time. it is 333am and i am dreading sleep only because it means i will be awake for my flight.. my 20 hour flight. it leaves melbourne at 1255pm and gets to LA at 945am. I GO BACK IN TIME.

then it gets to chicago by 7pm. probably not. i hope that gives me enough time to clear customs.

lets be honest folks. i dont want to go home.

i am missing australia already,

22 November 2007

i eat vegemite for brekky

so.. i guess this is it. my last post was october 28th, and it's now.. november 22nd? what happened? well, there are four options

1) final exams & essays
2) traveling!
3) internet is not free here = running out of credit
4) better things to do.
5) laziness.

i'd say it was a combo, but honestly, mostly it was 3 & 5. this past month has been .. awesome. this whole trip has been ridiculous. it's everything i could've ever wanted out of this bloody country, & so much more. and now i am in the process of paking up and LEAVING - to come back who knows when, but will definitely be coming back.

i just got back from sydney & canberra the other day, which i wasn't planning on going to at all but then emcor was driving home from college (she lives in the berra) and so we drove back together, explored c-bang, then hit up sydney. canberra was so incredibly pretty.. it was a planned city, planted in the middle (ha) of sydney and melbourne so as to not let one city be 'supreme' over the other. so although it is still 8 hours from melb and only 2 1/2 from sydney, it's at least not in one or the other. the city was placed in the middle of the mountains, in a 100k squared valley. there's a man-made lake and everything. we explored parliament and old parliament and the war memorial, which were pretty awesome. i haven't even been to DC but i've been to australia's capital.. what should that tell you? we were meant to see and do much more but we spent so much time at the three of them.. which was absoltuely fine, because they were so cool. that's the government-nerd in me talking, take for it what you will.

i am obsessed with this - so the senate and the house each have their own 'colour' - senate is red, house is green. we were walking through old parliament and each branch is pretty much separated and has their own amenities. we wandered into the senate garden, which was nice, flowers and tables and gazebos and red clay court tennis courts. later we walked around the house gardens, same spiel, except - wait for it - green grass courts. maybe you had to be there, me and em found it pretty amusing... the separation went so far as to the type of court that each branch played on. what if you were a better grass court player? do you run for house? anyways. we thought it was funny.

so em's backyard basically is just bush, so we took a walk after tea one night. i got one last look at boxing kangaroos and a really pretty sunset over the mountains.

sydney was pretty cool. it was a LOT different than melbourne.. first of all, the CBD is HUGE, and there are much much more big buildings. i don't know if its just because i'm so far from chicago that i'm thinking this, but yeah. it's just a different lifestyle there as well. we saw the opera house and bridge, didnt climb UP it but we walked over it, and up one of the pylons. we met one of em's friends who drove us around, took us back to her house and we ate lunch, then left again to go to bondi, where topless sunbathing is more than okay. afterwards we went back to the cbd and hit up darling harbour, got some eats, then went up the sydney tower to watch the sunset. the next day we went to manly for the morning and lunch, then back to circuluar quay and the rocks. we went inside the opera house (SO COOL!) and i peed in the toliets there, which had the wickedest sinks ever. then we went to mrs macquarie's chair and got some good pictures (and by good i mean HEAPS) went to st mary's, hyde park, and got some icy poles and just relaxed. so in conclusion, we didn't DO much, but we saw HEAPS. for only 1 1/2 days in syd, i think we did pretty good.

and now i'm back in maryland. most of the people are gone.. siobhan karri and leah left wednesday morning, so when my flight got in on tuesday night i went right to the village, and we gooned the night away. i fell asleep with my shoes on in karri's bed..good thing it was the last night, i reckon she would've been a bit angry otherwise.. but it was the worst thing ever to see them go the next morning.. it just seemed so final. i know i'll see them again, but it was more than that. it wasn't just saying good bye to them, it was saying goodbye to this whole experience. i'm off in 2 days. from australia. something i've looked forward to my whole life is just coming to.. an end. and don't give me that crap about 'every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end'... put it away, semisonic.

it even got sentimental at pa's.. that's when you know it's a bit over extremed. the dj was like " thanks for a great year! we'll see you next semester!" and then proceeded to play a 6-song banger with all the classics, including a tricked out version of land down under. try interpretive dancing to THAT mother.

Also, i don't like this whole saying bye thing. i get an extra couple days in aus but it also means that everyone is going home before me.. so instead of them saying bye to me, all at once, i have to deal with it in doses. it's a bit unfair.

in other news, i decided i am more australian than most people here. i've already passed the citizenship test (albeit unofficial), but the other day i was talking to em about the elections and everything and said "our prime minister" without realising it.. then in syd we were in the visitor center getting maps (duh, tourists) and some girl starts talking to us, turned out she was from california, and the she asks me where we were from. i say chicago, and she goes.. wait.really? i thought you had an accent. it was pretty much the greatest compliment of my life. the problem is, it only comes out when i'm around australians..and then it flows naturally. i was showing jenna my potty time video from the 4th day in australia and she said that my accent has gotten a lot 'better' for lack of a better word. but when i'm talking to mum and pop at home i find myself stopping to correct myself, to talk like them. LAME. i don't like it.

alright. stime to go see across the universe with claire, who i'm pretty sure is my australian twin. more later (although probably not.)

see you stateside.

28 October 2007

a day late, an hour short

so i woke up this morn, stretched out these crazy limbs of mine, and turned on the crapple. i leave the time on my laptop in chicago zonage so that i know the tiempo back home. i more or less have an idea of what time there equates to what time here. so after a while i look at the clock and i'm like hmm. something seems off. then i check my phone and it says the time is 102. what? i look at my room phone clock. same thing. a bit thrown off at this point, i call my friend and i'm like "what time is it?" because for whatever reason i couldn't believe that it was, in fact, 1 in the afternoon. she confirms the time and i run down to lunch because heaven forbid i miss a meal. everyone is there, apparently realising that day light savings time does exist in australia. so we've sprung ahead an hour, and i reckon the us falls back an hour in not so many days, which means the time will be 2 hours more apart than what we've used to been. that doesn't even make sense. i'm not even going to try to fathom it right now.

so now it doesn't start getting dark till an hour later, obvi, which i guess is another sign that spring is in the air. another sign of spring: flies. flies here are a BITCH. these suckas show no mercy. as soon as the weather gets nice they are all up in your face. and arms. and legs. and whatever part of your body is outside. or inside, if you leave your windows open. i went for a run today and after a km or so of swatting i just gave up. i think some kid laughed at me, called me the fly lady, until he realised that he was the same way. no, i'm making that up. seriously though, after a while. you're just kinda like, you win, flies. crawl all over me with your germy filthy legs, please.

so what was i doing waking up at noon (1) after doing so good the other day? this so called 'other day' i woke up at 10 in the morn to go to melb central with em. i guess i had motivation to get up, shopping and what not. the friday (day before) we had a pfa, which was fun, a lot of people have exams so it didn't go off like it usually did. that's another thing. i'm not used to this intense exam studying time. granted, i have 3 essays due friday i should be writing, but i can't find motivation to write when it's sunny and 25+ degrees out. but just wandering around college today everyone's doors are closed and music is low and it's all study study study. i could get on it but. the sun!

speaking of sun, let's talk about the utter lack of natural light that happens at casinos. we went to crown last night, to check it out, gamble our lives away, etc, and it's monstrous. a montrocity. we played the pokies for a while before that got old (slash/ kberb had to drag me away kicking and screaming "JUST ONE MORE GO!") and went up to the second level of more gambling and night clubs and bars. we wandered in and out trying to find the best dance floor/bar/live band/most old men who would creepily buy us drinks. we found a winner with this one bar that had a poppin' dance floor of old men in suits and overly tanned ladies strutting out their boobas and didn't hestitate to give us nasty stares when we took the dance floor. sorry, ladies, for stealing your men. you can have 'em.

tonight i'm about to leave for the icac battle of the bands. i reckon it's already went down but s&m's isn't on till 1040 so we have plenty of time to get down there. 'there' being wherever this place is happening at. should probably look into it. but won't.


24 October 2007


do yourselves a favour and go download the whitlams song 'thankyou' because it is pretty much fabulous. i'm having my friends make me aussie music cds because let's face it, britney spears just doesn't exist here. so my friend emma put this song on her cd and i am in love with it. seriously. we're getting married. i'm having its babies.

in other news, the reason i wanted to write today was because this morning was my best morning ever! and by best, i mean worst. so i woke up this morning after setting my alarm for 930am because i have a 1500 word essay due..soon. that i haven't started on it. so the plan was to work on it before uni, go to uni, eat lunch, then work on it some more. so i woke up because good ole roomz' was ridiculously loud, i look at my phone and it is 749. i pull the covers over my head and try to fall back asleep. i wake up again at 815, get up to go to the bathroom, and come back and try to fall asleep again. at 828 my room phone is ringing, so i answer it and try to sound like i've been awake this whole time. i hate answering the phone when i sound groggy, but usually people see through my bad acting skills. i think i might've fooled jenna though. so i'm talking to her but really i'm wondering why she is calling me at 830 in the morning. then i glance at the clock on my room phone and it's 1130am. turns out that when i updated my iphone yesterday it went back to chicago time, so that 828 was really pm, yesterday. i jump in the shower and make it to my tutorial right on time.

so i'm sitting in the tute and every so often i catch someone glancing at me. i know i'm ridiculously hot and all but after one too many glances i look down at myself to see just what is so enticing..and i realize that my shirt has unbuttoned all the way down and my boobas are hanging out. good onme. so i slyly button it up and am a bit frazzled because my lecturer had definitely stolen a few not-so-discrete glances. maybe it'll earn me an h1 on this next essay!

so i get through the last tutorial and am making my way back to mary's and trip up a small set of stairs outside of a building, and of course a class just got out and i am in the middle of a huge group of people. i make a small courtesy and chuck right out of there.

and it's not even 2pm yet. well, it is, back in the usa. stupid apple! now, on to work choices. dammit! i was supposed to ask people at lunch about it. ahh, well. it's just gonna be a pile of bs anyway.

booya! (now you say grandma)

19 October 2007

shut the muck up.

i really like how the australians use the word muck. it's not quite a curse, it's more of a synonym for mess, ie, i really mucked up that one. we just had our college photo (which was postponed from ages ago because newman wouldn't less use their bleacher stands, the bastards) and after the one of us all in our red & blue jumpers and accys we had a muck up photo. basically everyone dresses like an idiot. i was in a toga bedsheet. NAKED! no. get your mind of the gutter.

also, how mucked up are my feet. they have blisters, popped and unpopped, from the marathon, blisters from my thongs, a blood blister from when i decided it would be better to walk home from birra bella shoeless, blisters on the bottom of my toes, raggedy toe nails because my toe nails don't grow because of running.. basically, if i was snow white and prince charming slipped a glass slipper on my foot, it wouldn't matter if it fit or not.

so we have valete dinner tonight, which is basically a good bye valedictorary dinner for all the 3rd years. everyone gets up super formal and there are speeches made, awards given etc. apparently its very emotional as well. don't be surprised if the ole leeshy-leesh drips a few tears from these aqueducts i have for eyes. after dinner we have a paradise island themed turn in the jcr, i reckon me and jenna are going to end up going as jellyfish. although in my paradise i wouldn't have jellyfish, unless they were made of actual jelly. sugar free. obviously.

yesterday ella stopped by my room before we went out for jenna's birthday and she gave me a gift bag from north 2.. they got a bunch of classic aussie food favourites and a jar of vegemite, including a how-to guide to eat this spread. i admit. i haven't really given the stuff a chance, only that one time back in the states when i spread it on way to thick. apparently the key is to spread it thin on toast with butter. i told them if they made it for me i'd eat it, but clearly i am incompetent. AND it also had the COOLEST tshirt ever.. courtesy of the australian government.. a gorgeous black off centered oddly large 'don't lose your standards' tee. nice. i will never take it off.

OH NEWS FLASH! guess where i am going to be. okay stop guessing you'll never get it. CENTRE COURT for the australian open also known as rod laver arena.. now. calm down. breathe. i know you're jealous. let's be honest, melbourne is a cool city but the original reason for coming here was always for the aussie open. now once i realized that it wasn't possible no matter what semester i came here, in the end i decided melbourne would be a nicer place to live for 6 months than sydney (hello, world's most liveable city!). but that doesn't mean everytime i go to the mcg and see rod laver i don't get a little bit excited (if you know what i mean..) so me and karri are doing a tour of the arena and all the courts and stuff.. we get to go into the locker rooms.. the press rooms.. the tunnel that the players walk through on their way to grand final.. EXCITEMENT!

alright, phone's ringing, that's my CUE to exit! going to saver's to try to find a tropical jelly fish themed outfit for tonight..

peace out cub scout

16 October 2007

what do you call a clingy boyfriend?

sticky date. pudding. okay. that was lame, but that's not my joke, i'm just the messenger. don't shoot the messenger. mmm. let's talk about my love for sticky date pudding. we had it after tea tonight and the slices were unusually large.. like, this was not your baby sister's sticky date pudding. this was the incredible hulk of sticky date pudding, covered in caramel sauce and a heap of ice cream. ooooh. so good, it made up for the shite dinner of overcooked roast and mash.

so i still haven't written about brizzy and at this point it's unlikely. but maybe you'll get lucky and i'll deliver the occasional spring break story. like right now!

so me and monica did a great barrier reef tour with this company we found online. it ended up being a really good tour, got to see everything we wanted and do what we wanted to do. the only thing that sucked was it left from brisbane, and the reef doesn't hit till about 6-700k up the coast, so the ride up was a bit of a bitch. but! another day, another story!

so we were supposed to be camping under the stars, on the beach, in the glorious australian wildlife. no. that did not happen. it would've been fine with me, the outdoorsy loving person i am. except for the possums. random fact: if you leave food by your window and you live over the veranda here, don't be surprised if possums get into your room. anyways, something was going on with the town council, fists were pulled out, punches were thrown, possums were burned, and long story short we ended up staying at the hostel in town. side note - this town was called "the town of 1770" not because that is the population (which i originally thought) but because that's when it was founded. although if it did have a population of 1770 i would be shocked, because where did all those people hide?

so there were about 25 of us on the tour and the hostel wasn't expecting us so they had to divide us up between multiple rooms. me and monica totally got shafted, and by me and monica, i mean mostly me, although monica ended up suffering too. so we ended up getting seperated because this uptight, unfashionable finnish chick on the tour wanted to stay in an all-girls room which just wasn't possible. so i got put in a room with her and the tour guide and his family, who lovingly decided to come on this very tour with him. the tour guide was cool enough, went by the name of elvis, although i wouldn't be surprised if that was his real name. so i put my stuff in the room, put the pillows and blankets on my bed and went over to monica's. we had bbq for dinner and talked to some of the other backpackers there, people who weren't on the tour with us. we met some really cool kids from england and germany in particular and decided to go the local townie pub, which was "just around the corner, up the hill, and when you see a big victoria bitter sign lighting up the sky, you've found it." so off we go.

we get there and it seems the whole town of 1770 has shown up. i guess if you were to picture a stereotypical drunk aussie pub, this would be it, complete with breakdancing wastoids and classy broads in mid driff shirts. my idea of a good time, obvi. it was a really cool night, had some beers and got to know the other backpackers. we left around 1am or so, not stumbling drunk but it was pretty close. so i go back to my room and everyone is asleep, so i tiptoe around with the lights off trying to figure out how i am supposed to get to the top bunk in my drunk state. i changed into my pj's and am about to crawl into my bed when i notice two long tubes taking up the whole entire bed. wtf, mate? what am i supposed to do about that? i didn't know if they were heavy or not (they looked pretty heavy to me) so i decided the best idea would be to just go share a bed with monica. so off i went, next door, told monica my dilemma, and spent a comfy night with 2 people on a twin bunk bed.

the next morning we went down to brekkie and the mom/wife lady may have given us a look or two but didn't say anything. that day was spent snorkeling and swimming on the reef, really awesome, hard to explain how great it is in words so i'll just let the pictures explain. when i get them developed.

so we head back to the hostel later that night and i go into my room and realize that my bed is made up and someone else's stuff is on it. i ask the wife/mom tour guide lady what was going on, and she says that she thought it was just an empty bed because no one slept there last night. i tell her no, it was my bed, and i couldn't sleep in it last night because there were the 2 long tubes on it.

"two tubes? what - oh, those. those were just the didgeridoos."


i quickly left the room and proceeded to break out in laughter. maybe you had to be there.

08 October 2007

run hard, don't worry, you'll pass out before you die

wow so i've been ignoring this thing for a while now. i have good reason, though, i swear. see mainly i take the uni's wireless as opposed to plugging into to the college's ethernet and the uni wireless doesn't like loading facebook and blogger for whatever reason so i can only get onto those when i am plugged into the college. and that doesn't happen very often because internet is expensive here and yeah. so. on we go.

first of all, i just ran a frickin marathon. i just FINISHED a marathon. i am the happiest clam in the world. my body is ridiculously sore but i finished and i am so happy about it. unfortunately though i came down really hard on my heel at some point near the beginning, it didn't bother me at first but as soon as i hit 21k i was like.. ow. and i had to run/shuffle/walk the rest of the way. right now i can't even walk without a huge limp, which makes me wonder how i even finished yesterday.. the first half of it went really well, i think i had about 2:10 split at the half. but my finishing time was 4:49.51 and i wanted under 5 so wooo! i'm not just saying this either, but if it weren't for my heel i think i would've done better, my legs and lungs were okay for the majority, but everytime i stepped my heel would ache. it got to the point where i would walk and it'd hurt, and running on it would hurt, so i was kind of just like screw this, if it's gonna hurt either way i might as well run. it was weird running it with only 3000 competitors, as opposed to chicago which has like 45000. the marathon's cut off time for road closures and that was 5 hours so i was determined not to be shut down on and clearly i just made it!

along the way they had drink stations obvoiusly but the coolest part was that they weren't cups, they were in this plastic sachets that you would tear open with your teeth and then you could keep running while you drank it, you didn't need to stop like you would for a cup because you didn't have to worry about it getting all over you. the only thing that sucked was that since i had a lower time so close to cut off, most of the other runners were all trained and good and fast, so while there were still people behind me there definitely weren't the numbers that would be in chicago. at that point though i didn't care, i just wanted to finish. people passed out snakes and lollies and icypoles while you ran, so that was nice, because the actual marathon people only gave out water and occasionally powerade. i guess for such a small marathon it's nothing new?

but running onto the MCG for the finish was one of the coolest things, you're in the middle of this 100,000 person stadium, it left me in awe as i hobbled my way to the finish. along the way i met an essendon footy player who was clearly injured as well trying to run the 200m to the finish. at about 100m left i called my sister and told her i was about to finish and she was like "we're running with you! vito is running with you too!" and i got to cross the finish line with her (on the phone). so any pictures that pop up of me finishing i will be on the phone. as i run a marathon. i was definitely overcome with happiness and i started sobbing, the best part was though was that my friends were able to get onto the field and as soon as i crossed the finish and got my medal they were there around me hugging me and congratulating me and it was great to have people there to take care of me after. seriously. one of the great experiences of my life.

and then as soon as it was over i honestly could not walk. i had to have andrew and siobhan basically carry me through to get fruit and water and my clothes again after.. we had to take a taxi home because i couldn't even walk to the tram. which makes me wonder how i was able to run 13 miles on this foot, because even today i can't step on it. that upsets me because if it seriously weren't for this foot i would be achey and sore but at least i could walk. now i just look like an invalid. anyways.

after taking a well needed and deserved shower at siobhan's we headed to max brenner's and we FINALLY got the chocolate pizza which was orgasmic and delicious and i would run another marathon for it in a heartbeat. which if you would've asked me around 25k if that were true, i would have swore you off and cursed you out. amanda called at some point and i was like "i am never doing this again. i hate the world." and now after i'm like "let's do that again!" stupid marathons. so addicting. luckily i won't have to wait long because it's only 97 days till disney!

so my roommate has a bunch of fruit on her desk from the dining room and i definitely just took off an apple. it's just sitting there and she didn't come home last night, so, fair game. i took a banana earlier. i'm injured, people! i can barely walk! i can't make it to the lunch room! watch her walk in right.....now.

okay. so yeah. marathon was awesome, i am pretty happy with my first-marathon-no-training 4:49:51 time, no so happy with my foot, but happy that i get a well-deserved rest day because i don't have uni at all. although i am going to have to find something to do about this foot for the remainder of its pain-length.

oh, boy. i still have to write about spring break! well, seeing as how today will most be spent stretching and in bed, hopefully i'll be well enough and inspired enough for an update later.

as for now, peace!

oh, yeah. me and kristen and leah made shirts the other day too: on the front, they say "team america 2007" and the back "kickin' assphalt on 2 continents!" be jealous, i guess.

02 October 2007

watch your head, chinaman!

oh my.

i am home. alive. and ready to start up with kickass uni again! woo! classes! wooooo! yeah... no.

starting up uni again will be one of the hardest things i'll ever have to do. i guess an update is in order, no? spring break 3.0 was amazing. it was a mongolian clusterfuck of buses and beaches and hostels and beer, but its nice to be home again, if only for a comfortable, familiar bed. which i just woke up from. at 4 in the afternoon.

how do i put into words what has happened to me?

25 September 2007

i love the brisvegas.

well, maybe. i haven't been there yet but i have high expectations. although i realized that if i was going to die during any spring break trip it'd be this one: hostels, sharks, lack of any sort of plan.. oh, and the jellyfish. i am so excited but also nervous. i feel really adult, also, doing this: booking everything ourselves, finding out directions and transportation and who knows what else. let's just hope the weather is nice and sunny!

peace out cub scout! i'll see you in a week!

22 September 2007

let's get naked!

other potential titles for this blog:

"we put the ho in hobart"
"they're disconnected from the mainland for a reason"
"i'll port your arthur"
"who put the devil in you?"

at the end of the day, though, nakedness always wins out. we were born naked. thus, this blog's title.

so i reckon i never even informed most of the blog readers (the masses of you!) that i was going to tasmania. but currently it's spring break (mid-semester break for the aussies) which means 2 weeks of pure fun & sun & puns. except for me, who conviniently has a 2500 word essay due in 2 days, which for all of you keeping track, is the monday right smack in the middle of the break. but i digress. and plan to procrastinate some more.

so IES organized a trip to tasmania for the first week of break. i had never even thought of visiting tasmania while I was here so i am really glad they did this for us. it's one of those places that you go to and it's beautiful and nice and pretty and then on the plane ride out you realize that no, you'll never be back. but i'm clearly jumping way ahead of myself here and lucky for me I have the trip itinerary in front of me, because otherwise I would have no idea what we did when. ready? let's get started!

so saturday started very early - 645 am early - which was a fantastic way to begin the night after our PFA. backtracking, let's go back, pfa = "pleasant friday afternoon" at college which also translates to "drink early, drink lots, and dress like a pirate!" arrr, matey, it was shipwreck. i ended up getting only an hour of sleep which seemed to be the theme for the rest of the crew - louis showed up on the airport bus still drunk (and smelling fabulous!) the flight was only an hour, which was good, because they also have a ferry that takes you from the mainland to hobart, and that's a painful 12 hours. we got to hobart in time to experience the salamanca ("salmonella") market, where we stalked a potential australian celebrity (apparently some guy on the soap show 'home and away'). the market was nice and all but compared to the queen vic it was not as impressive; hobart however is only a population of 250k as opposed to melbourne's 4 mil. then we hit cole's bay, about 2:30 north of hobart along the coast.. coastal highways in aussie (and tassie) are NOTHING like highways back home. if you're thinking of 4 lane, median seperated, exits and overpasses and highway patrol highways, you have it all wrong. highways here are 2 lane, right along the cliffs, drive through towns and villages and speed limits are about 100km/hr and slow down once you drive through towns. highway police are few if any at all, so i guess that makes the speed limit optional.

dinner at cole's bay was a drawn out process, but tasty none the less, and then afterwards we watched a bit of the footy at the bar attached. this restuaurant/bar duo happened to be the town's only resutrautant/bar, so it was packed with the locals, who all seemed like intelligent, tactful human beings. lucky for us we met some sydneysiders who thought we were from perth - apparently all the people at the bar saw the group of us come in and were wondering where we were from. perth? really?

so after talking to the sydney kids we walked down to the beach for a look at the stars and BAM! there was a bonfire lit on the beach..and no one around? it seemed like something out of a horror flick - met some randoms at a strange bogan town in nowhereville, tasmania, let's go down to the beach, oh how convenient, a bon fire with no one around, SLASH STAB KILL BLOOD! common sense would say turn around, but remember those intelligent locals i mentioned earlier? they must've rubbed off on us and for good reason, too, we ended up having a good time - and free beer!

we spent the night in a caravan = trailer park = mobile home type thingy. it was fine, bunk bed accomodations, but there was a fridge and a coffee maker so i was alright. time out! i'm going to make some tea right now. annnd i'm back. not that you even noticed i was gone. thanks.

oh, funny story: monica lit her dunna (comforter) on fire. she was sleeping a bit close to the space heater and BAM! legit flames. i didn't see it for myself but i could only imagine the hilarity that ensued. good ole monica. good thing i'm going to brisbane with her in a few days, she'll be the spark the trip needs. oh, me.

the next day we checked right out of that caravan place and headed to wineglass bay. now wineglass bay is completely unaccessible by car. the only way to get there is via a 4 hour boatride or a bushwalk! the adventure seekers that ies is put us on the bushwalk, which was actually quite hard.. no more timtams for me. it took about an hour to get to the actual beach but it was well worth it.. a pristine piece of land that was virtually free of people.. if you see a picture of it you'd assume it'd got its name from the wineglass shape of the beach but no! the story is much more interesting - apparently whales used to come up to this area and whalers named it "wineglass bay" because of the colour of the water (red) when they were killed for whatever whales are killed for.

after our hike we rode back 2 hours to port arthur but along the way our driver decided to take a "shortcut" through a gravel road forest path.. no cell reception, no road signs, no other cars on the road in either direction..sharp turns, hills, if we had gotten stuck or lost or KILLED by the bus driver who could've been a mass murderer for all we knew.. but, we didn't, and he ended up taking us to this nice place for oysters! mmmm oysters. tassie is apparently known for them and for good reason, they were delicious. in other news they are also known for 3 foot long lobsters. sadly i did not get to experience that.

so port arthur used to be a prison settlement in the 1800s, and has now been regarded as a tourist destination. it's also haunted. so after a surprisingly good dinner at the hotel restaurant (i got pavlova..mmmmm!) we went on a ghost tour around the prison grounds. it was scary, really. i took lots and lots and lots of pictures for george to anaylze, and a video as well. i didn't see any ghosts but siobhan farted while we were in a claustrophobic cellar, that was pretty brutal and made things a bit hazy. otherwise it was really interesting. our guide was apparently a screenwriter which meant he was pretty good at story telling, and it was raining..made for a freakydeaky night!

oh! so afterwards we went back to our HOTEL (yes, that says HOTEL - not HOSTEL) and enjoyed our fancy accomodation by playing taboo. me and roomz shared a room and we got lucky and it had a joining door with the other part of the 4. very nice. also, who would've ever thought that i'd be saying how fancyschmancy a comfort inn would be. george, it was no kalahari presidential suite, i could tell you that much. but on this trip it might as well been!

so by now it's monday and we were all legitimately exhausted. or at least i was. we started the day with an "isle of the dead" tour of port arthur, which made us realize that it was not as scary by day. good thing we had not seen port arthur at all during the day prior to our ghost tour, because i reckon it would've taken away from the scarey factor. after the tour we stopped at a tasmanian devil conservation park and it was pretty wild - they are NOTHING like taz at all, so put away your predispositions.. they are short and black and kind of look like sinatra. they are also midly retarded (like deano!) so if you combined all of amanda's dogs they'd make a tassie devil. after this we headed back to hobart and checked into our accomodations for the next couple of nights.. unfortunately this was no longer comfort inn standards. this was no heater, ghetto tv, singing hanging lightbulb with 2 bunk beds standards. lucky us!

tuesday morning we got up for white water rafting and let me tell you.. it was early, i was cold, and after a night in less than pristine accomodations, the last thing i wanted to do was white water raft down a freezing cold river.


we split up into 3 different groups and my group was DA BOMBZ, and our leader "woody" was pretty b.a. himself. we ended up stealing lots of the other groups oars as well as throwing some people in.. all in all everyone ended up in the 50 degree water (warm for this time of year!) and in a race we beat the other two rafts. it was so much fun, hard to describe, but one of the highlights of the trip. i think the best part was that i expected so little and it returned with so much. we were on the water a good 2 1/2 hours though, so that last 1/2 hour was pretty painful.. by then everyone was freezing and hungry and just wanted to get off.

after our river expedition we went to the tahune airwalk, where a delicious and filling barbeque lunch was waiting for us.. oh my gosh it was so good. we had some crazy sausages and this meatloaf hamburger patty and salad and fruit and cheese and wine and beer and coffee and mmmmmm. i ate so much that the actual airwalk afterwards was a must-do for my belly. the airwalk was pretty cool, although not what i thought it'd be. i was thinking like rope climbing and ziplines and creaky wood plank bridges in the sky, but it was a metal setup and very stable. anyone with a fear of heights would've been distinctly freaked out but otherwise it was pretty tame.

wednesday was our free day and the girls decided to hit up a local spa we had seen the night before.. they had this sweet deal for using all their spas and pools and saunas and everything so we decided to do it, and walked over there around noonish. now i guess no one really thought it through but we all kind of figured we'd just go at it naked... thinking of spas back home where it's no big deal. we got into our robes with just our birthday suits underneath and were about to head out into the spa when we read a sign saying "appropriate bathers required!" um, oops.. so kristen lovingly ran back to the hostel and picked up everyone's bathers. luckily it was not too far and we got changed pretty quick and went on to enjoy our spa day. crisis averted, but it made for a pretty good story, no? maybe not blog title worthy now that i look back, but good nonetheless.

so after moseying around the rest of the day we went out at night to this place called the telegraph, which apparently all of hobart's going out population was at. oh, another thing, hobart shuts down at night. like, 6pm hits, bam. doors locked. lights off. EVERYWHERE. near the salmonella market there are some restuarnts and stuff that stay open but otherwise you are hardpressed to find a happening place. the boys found out about the tele which had 5$ jugs at 5pm, 6$jugs at 6pm, etc, and they had really good beer on tap, so we stayed there for the night, and realized that buying jugs early to save a dollar does not mean you have to finish it within ten minutes. we ended up at a 24 hour bakehouse eating ridiculous amounts of bread. probably for the best.

the next day everyone woke up bright and chipper and not hung over at all for our descent down mt. wellington, tasmania's tallest mountain. again i had no expectations ( not in a bad way, but just having no idea what to expect) and it was SO. COOL. basically you did not need to pedal at all and you're racing down along the same roads that cars are driving up, going to fast that the wind is wooooshing past your helment and you're trying hard not to stare out at the amazing views because if you do you could accidently move your tires in that direction and BAM! you're falling down the side of mt. wellington. so what i learned to do was start at the back of the group, zoooom down so i got to the front, then sloo-ooo-oow the pace so that i got to enjoy the view and ended up at the back again, only to zooooom back down to the front. it worked out quite well until we got to the little 'off-roading' section that was freaky and scary and hard. i managed to get down with only a slight skirmish where i hit my hoo-haa against the bike pole, luckily for me i am a girl. it started raining halfway down the descent but other than the occasional rain pellet hitting you it was totally fine. we biked down the mountain and through hobart's suburbia before making it all the way down and realizing that whoa! we just biked down that mountain. really cool.

finally, that afternoon, the activity i had been holding my breath figuratively for: the cadbury chocolate tour. we got there and were immediately given all the carmello koalas, freddo frogs, and dairy milk we could stuff down our throats (or in our bags). then we had to take off all our jewelery and stuff away any form of phone or camera and were sent off on our tour. our tour guide was less than impressive and i thought we'd see a lot cooler parts of the factory, but we stuck to packaging areas and it was okay. it smelled like chocolate to the whole time though, mmmm. it was much better than hershey's tour because this was actually REAL, not some automatronic ride crap. after the tour we of course went to the factory store where i spent the rest of my meal allowance on chocolate, probably too much. ahh, well, like i said, i probably'll never be back to tassie so i might as well buy up what i can.

that night was our last night in tassie so we went all out at an indian restrurant. i had never had indian food before and it was good, spicy buy otherwise i'd go again. afterwards we went for our last final walk around hobart, had some good conversation, and slept the night away. our flight was in the morning and we said bye bye tasmania, see you...sometime. maybe on the travel channel.

it was a really, really, really, really, really awesome trip. it met every expectation and so much more, and i'm so glad we did it. now i am even more excited for brisbane because it will be WARM! the only thing standing in my way is a little 2500 word essay for south africa. oh, by the way, this entry took me waaaay too long to write. why can't i write about south africa this easily? gosh, that makes me SO ANGRY. <3


12 September 2007

aussie aussie aussie!!!

oi oi oi!!

let's be honest, faithful readers..i have been waiting to use that blog title for quite some time. and now's the perfect time to use it, i reckon, after coming home from the australia v argentina football game. unfortunately the soccaroos lost to the locos argentinos, 0-1. it was still a great game in front a sold out (cough 70k cough) MCG crowd. soccer fans are CRAZY, louder than footy fans but i dont know if they're more intense. apparently this was more of a 'friendly' match so maybe the noise levels were toned down a bit. either way, good times. and just being in the G made me excited for finishing the marathon - you do your final lap inside the MCG - how awesome is that?? for one thing, i'll be fall on my face dead by then, but it'll be cool to see how much footy players actually do have to run. and, more motivation to finish, right?

so less than a month till the marathon. BUT less than 5 days till tasmania! and 12 days till brisbane/goldcoast/reef/sunshine coast!! also, alycia, less than 3 days till your 2500 word as-of-yet-nothing-written essay is due. get on that, aright? then we can celebrate spring break.

but less back track out of the future, shall we? heck, less bypass the present too. let's talk a journey back to a little place i like to call saturday morning...

so this past weekend was the great ocean road trip with isop. 23 people ended up going on the trip - 11 of them were us. so right of the getgo, good odds for having a good time. the great ocean road was one of my australia must-dos. i don't know if most of you know what it is (helllloooo wikipedia!) but i'm sure you've seen pictures of the twelve apostles and such. so i've been excited about this for a while now, and this weekend had much expectation for it.

so we left saturday morning, 8am style, and hit the road through geelong and into torquay where we stopped for SURFING! i've never surfed before in my life, i can barely handle a boogie board. so i had no idea what to expect. i thought coming into australia that i'd never surf, not because it looked hard in itself, but because i was terrified of the water; i won't even swim in oceans back home because of sharks and stuff that'll eat me. and australia is known for having 205802852 of the world's deadliest animals, and about 3/4 of those are species of jellyfish. but yeah, that barely crossed my mind at the time, if at all. someone in the group asked about sharks and the guides told us it was a rare occasion, if any at all. so we climbed into our wetsuits (complete with booties!) and grabbed a board, then were given a 5 minute lesson on how to surf. a basic runthrough:
- see the wave in the distance
- get on your board facing the beach
- start paddling
- when the wave hits your feet, paddle 4 big strokes
- surf!
the first time we did it we just caught the wave, then kind of just leaned back and let it take us as we were still lying on the boards. we did that for about 10 minutes, then hit the beach for a lesson on how to stand, then hit the waves again. standing was kind of tricky, i got to my knees a lot, and was able to stand once or twice. the waves kept getting bigger as the lesson went on, and the water was FREEZING.. so by the time i was finally getting the hang of it, my toes were numb, and i had to pack it in. imagine what it would've been like without the wetsuit, because the wetsuit defintely was clutch. the problem was, near the end i was like "okay. freezing. one more wave, then i'm riding it in." so, the wave would come, and i would ride it in. then: "okay. freezing. one more wave, then i'm riding it in." this happened 3 or 4 times, then finally the guides were like "ride this last one in!" so of course i listened to them and hopped out. i can easily see how people turn into surfies. it's so addicting, and so much fun. such an adrenaline rush. you just want to keep catching the next wave, especially if they look good. and as long as the water temp is alright and your wetsuit doesn't have a jellyfish inside of it, i'd say you're golden to stay out on the waves as long as you'll let yourself. i'm so glad we did that during the GOR trip because now i know what i am spending my time during the brisbane trip doing. and the water will be warm there. niiiice.

so after surfing we stopped at lorne for lunch by the beach, which team ies divided up as a picnic kinda thang and it was delish, or as delish as pb&j sandwiches get. after lorne we headed to...uh...what did we do after lorne? oh, we saw a waterfall, pretty cool, 307 steps or something like that to walk back up. then we did teddy's lookout.

let me tell you about teddy's lookout. it's right off of the road, just a built out stand overlooking the ocean. it. was. amazing. i've never seen anything that awe-inspiring or astonishing ever. the ocean was so blue, so endless, and the cliffs were rugged and intense and i don't know how to put into words how it made me feel. just happy. sickeningly, lovingly happy. like i could've wrote a million hallmark cards about that scene. anyways i could go on and on about it but i'm not going to, you'll never know what i mean until you are there for yourself. so put that on your australia must-do list, aright?

we got to hike down teddy's lookout mountain, which was cool, it consisted of team singalongs, always a good time. then some people ended up getting lost so our guide had to take the bus and try to find them, which was fine, it meant time for us on the beach to frolic and play like the sound of music characters that we are.

after teddy's lookout i reckon we got pretty tired, we went to some koalas in the wild place and saw koalas in the wild. koalas are pretty cool animals, and i'm sure i'll miss them once i'm gone, but golly gee wilikers, are they boring. all they do is sleep and canoodle with the trees. i sleep, too, and no one watches me. i'm a good canoodler, too, where's my paparazzi? still, one of the koalas had its baby on its back, which was cute, AND there was a wooden koala put-your-head-in-the-hole picture kind of thing, which warranted heaps and heaps of laughter. obviously.

so then we finally made it to apollo bay for the night, settled into our hostel accomodations (top notch) and our bed (4 to a bed and the little one said roll over..roll over). it was reminiscent of the shepparton days of long past. in order to conserve water, the 6 of us popped on our bathers and hit up the shower (it was very savannah07-esque, little snuggle bear, anyone?). then we hit up some take away joint for food and then got ice cream, then stopped at a local bar which apparently was townie boy night. we ended up back at the hostel by 10pm but it felt much later. we would've went to bed then but we ended up taking a midnight excursion to the beach.. or what we hoped would be the beach. (SIDE NOTE: I THINK MY ROOMATE JUST took her adderall...she'll be up for another 24 hours now) so apparently we have no idea how to get to the beach, and it being pitch black outside, the odds weren't in our favour. after narrowly avoiding death (and i mean it...we came to a point and used kristen's cellphone flashlight to read a sign that said "DANGEROUS DROPOFF AHEAD") we finally found a path down to the bay. the sky was pretty, very shiny and twinkly outside the lights of the city. it was so calm and serene and the best part was the stars reflected into the bay waters. i've never seen anything like it before. so in conclusion, the near death experience was well worth the risk of that view.

the next morning we packed it up, then left for the 12 apostles! we stopped at some forest walk place on the way there and siobhan warned us about killer leeches hiding in the trees. so the twelve apostles have now been turned into the seven apostles (or 8? maybe?) after one of them collapsed in 2005. really cool. i'd put up pictures here but i don't know how, the pictures speak better than i could describe it. it was just cool knowing that i was seeing something that people years from now won't be able to experience, because the waves keep hitting them and they keep eroding slowly but surely. after the apostles we stopped at loch ard gorge which was easily the best stop of the whole trip. saw some great views, then went down into the gorge and saw stalactites and huge rocks and did jumping picture! madi would be proud. after that we stopped for lunch at port campbell, then hit the road for the trek back to melbn.

all in all....great trip. made me realize just how lucky i am to be here right now, experiencing the things i am experiencing. i could be like my roommate and be taking adderall in order to stay up to do nothing but homework..and never leaving my room because i'm doing homework..but no. that's just not me. well, it will be the next few days as i need to write 2 2500 word essays. but that's only 3 days. i can dedicate 3 days to uni. i think.

in other news, guess who got the most AMAZING package the other day from the most AMAZING sister in the world! it was huge and contained all the classics, notably the butterscotch fiber haystacks (gone already) and banana reeses, and butterscotch chips and pudding and candies (YAY for amanda knowing that butterscotch does not exist here!) and an uncle bub's shirt (smelled like the grill!) and a halloween shirt (they dont celebrate it here!) and gum and lindt chocolate (between lindt and cadbury i think i know where those extra kgs are coming from) and yeah. just awesome. hint hint hint for those of you out there, feel free to compete with amanda. in fact, i insist it.

alright. it's late, and i'm not even connected to the internet anymore. my politics class is only a tutorial tomorrow, woot! so only one hour. of course that means more paper writing time, but it's probably better that way.

okay cub scout. peace. out.


08 September 2007


wow. sometimes during the day i'm like "aw i should write in my blog" and then i'm like "nah, i wrote it in the other day, i don't want to seem like an overzealous blogger" and then before i know it it's friday and the last time i heard from myself it was like 1669 days ago. speaking of 1669 (did you like how i did that?) i got my melbourne marathon bib number and race packet in the mail the other day! 1669 just happens to be my race number. funny story, i was going to wake up and go running before uni but decided sleep was much more important. came back for lunch and got my mail only to find the marathon stuff. that made me feel like a lazy arse. 4 weeks to the marathon, folks. four WEEKS. i am getting winded already.

i turned in my first paper this week! a 500 worder, this one was quite the lil bugger because it was for australian political economy. i barely can comprehend us economy, let alone another hemisphere's. so what should have taken me 2 hours to spit out ended up taking me about ten.. also, the fact that i put it off till the day before didn't help. they have an interesting system here though, where as back in the states we'd turn in our papers during class periods, they give you until 5pm on any given day, lecture or tutorial or not. you go to the department, fill out a cover sheet, sign your life away against plagiarism, then time stamp it and send it off down a slot to heaven. it's kind of nervewrecking, at least to me. i'd rather hand it in face to face with the professor.. that way there's no "but i didn't get it, you must not have turned it in" factor. so, yeah. we'll see how that one turns out. my next piece of work is due next friday, a 1500 word monster about migration into australia. also something i know nothing about.. except for "bring in the whites!"

mmm so yep. today we had madfest at college which was basically like a showcase of talented people. i, in turn, felt like an untalented arse. why don't i know how to play the piano or geeeetar? why does my voice sound like shitearse? i blame my parents, personally. i have no talents. what can i do? run on stage? "and next up we have alycia! watch how she jogs in place! tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock..." yep. nope. definitely blame the parents.

gosh, this week went by faasssst. tomorrow morning i am getting up bright and early for a) a run b) a shower and c) GREAT OCEAN ROAD! we are going for the weekend, it should be a GREAT time.. i am most excited for SURFING, my first time ever, if i get stung by a jellyfish, avenge my death. then in ONE WEEK it is SPRING BREAKKKK!! WOOOOO! this semester is going by waaaay too fast. so one week till spring break.. then spring break is 2 weeks..then we come back to school in the beginning of october...go to uni for 3 weeks, then we have swotvac (a week off for studying) and exams start beginning of november. so let me get this straight for you. exams start november 3rd. i have one class that has an exam, but i dont know when it is yet, they havent posted the exam timetable yet. i leave australia (sadface) november 24th. that is a WHOLE MONTH of no uni.

team awesome mating call?


02 September 2007

when i say boogie, you say down...

yesterday was one of the greatest days of my LIFE. i have never felt more australian. probably more so than those whinging poms will ever be. when i apply for permanent residence here, i should just make a video montage of yesterday's events and be like, here, mr immigration officer bitch. watch this and tell me i'm not welcome into your bloody country. except i wouldn't say it like that, i'd be much nicer and humbler and innocent. and i might slip him a cadbury chocolate or something.

oh my gosh, my roommate is the loudest food eater in the world. it's worse than madi's snoring. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP okay mcchomps a lot i get it...

anyways, yesterday we had the girls' footy tournament between all the colleges. first of all, footy is the greatest sport in the world, so i was so excited for this weekend since before i even left for aus. we've been having training sessions for the past two weeks or so, but nothing too formal. or hard. not that girls' footy is a joke, it's pretty hardcore and rough, but the games were only two ten minute halves as opposed to the boys' four fifteen minute quarters. so yeah.

so there's 18 players on a side, and a lot of the cols went home for the weekend because it is father's day, so i figured i had a pretty good shot of playing. we met at 845 for the first match at 10 against newman. can i just say that this day and the day of the 10k were the earliest i've gotten up since i've been in college here.. aka, the only reasons for me waking up early has been for sport. just throwing that out there. so we wake up, eat brekky, grab the boys jumpers and head over to the oval at royal park. it was a beeeeyooootiful day... nice and warm, so playing in shorts & singlets wasn't a big deal at all, plus footy socks go up to your knees. so, first match, newman. i didn't start, which i guess made sense because a) the coaches were ex-cols and didn't know me and b) i'm an american and thus know nothing about footy. since there were only 20 minutes to a game though i went in right away, and played pocketforward which basically means i was on offense. so the first match was GREAT... just going out there and playing and you don't realize how big a field is or how hard it is to kick or handball a football when 6 girls are chasing after you. also, there's no padding and anything goes except for tackles above the shoulders (hint: if you bend forward over the ball, you'll most likely get a whistle in your favor). so first match, newman beat us 7-6. kristen (an AMERICAN, thankyouverymuch) got the only goal for newman. i made sure to mention that to the girls on my team. team america, fuck yeah! newman also had the big butch GD professional netballer on their team; she could kick farther than most guys. overall though i think i played pretty well, it was tons and tons of fun, and i came out with scrapes and bruises and a jammed finger (which sucks to be typing with right now). siobhan, anna, karri, and leah all came to the match too so it was cool to have our own cheer squad (lacking floggers though, but we'll let that slide).

the second match was against international house and this time i started, woo! for an american, not too shabby. we won this match, and i got a good couple of tackles as well as a couple of marks. marking is pretty much my favorite part of the game. too bad i can't kick. oh, and i had a good run until i had to bounce the ball (you can only run 15 meters until you have to bounce it) and no one ever taught me the proper way to bounce a footy so i ended up on the ground tripping over myself. i think i got the ball out to en though. yeah, probably not.

so after this footy match i booked it on the tram to the g for the AFL match st kilda v richmond. i wasn't gonna go but it was a free ticket, and i only stayed till halftime, but since this was the last round before post season i figured i should go because i probably wouldn't get tickets for the next coming weeks. i only stayed till half time but just watching it made you appreciate it so much more after playing it.. you realize that WOW, they are kicking it far, and how do they not get tired running the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME!. it was a close game when i left, 53-54 but i hear st kilda pulled it off in the end.

so then i took the tram right back to royal park for our last footy game against queens. queens team was HUGE... over 50 girls.. i got to start again only this time they put me and fullforward, which is right in front of the goal on offense because "i was the best marker on the team." WOOOOO i was definitely proud of myself for that, which is why i'm writing about it in here. oh humble me. seriously though, it made me feel pretty good. unfortunately we lost this game and thus didn't make it to finals. but overall playing footy was fantastic, i'm definitely hooked for life now, and i'm bringing it back to the states, so don't you worry about a thing. you'll get your go.

so all in all it made for a super exhausting day BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! the lucksmiths (remember the melbourne band?) were having a cd release at a club in richmond and i had told siobhan and karri about it before but i was so tired that i didn't want to go. but then i figured, it was the lucksmiths, i'm in australia, let's do this. so 1030pm we leave for the show. I LOVE THE LUCKSMITHS THEY ARE AWESOME. it was a good show. we got to talk to them after and wished them luck on their american tour coming up (read: americans: do yourself a favor and go see them when they come to chicago, you will not regret it!). getting home was kind of a bust because we took a taxi without any money, but i reckon it worked out okay.

so, yeah. footy, footy, footy, footy, tea, music. i'm too australian for my own good.

today the boys footy played in the grand final but got whomped on. sad story.

alright. i'm so dead tired from this weekend but I WILL DO WORK. i have an essay due thursday, then great ocean road this weekend, then an essay due tuesday = i need to get my head in the game. also, we need to figure out brisbane.

oh! i talked to amanda too - she ran the race, got a 26:03 so good on her! i was so happy that she actually ran it! hopefully this will motivate her to run more. oh, running. oh, marathon in a month.

love, me

30 August 2007

i'm blue ba da dee a ba da

actually, that is a lie. i am a little bit pink in the cheeks (sunburn!) and between my fingers the webs are a bit orangey from the sunless tanner daily moisturizer. no blue to be seen. actually, that's an interesting side note: all the pictures i have with aussies i am the tannest one.. i am from chicago, people. i should never be the tannest. no, i reckon it's because they take skin cancer and uv damage a lot more serious here... hte other day, we were eating lunch in the courtyard and the weather was beautiful: a nice toasty 70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, the sun beating heavily.. i'm pulling up my shirt sleeves and about to grab a towel and strip down to my skivvies while my friends were using newspapers to cover the backs of their necks. i reckon it's almost sunscreen season (their words, not mine). that'll be hard to get into...as soon as that sun starts shining all the time the only thing on my mind will be TAN TAN TAN! because we all know i have to come back to chicago in december with a tan. skin cancer or no skin cancer.

i get distracted so easily. i am coming down now off a two day high because of MARY'S BALL!!! alright. so for those of you not in the know, every college throws a ball during the year, and i got lucky because we have our ball second semester. so ours was a 60$ two course meal all you can drink pretty views over the lake fiesta... and it was AWESOME. okay. so. yesterday leading up t the ball was all normal and boring, i went to my lecture and tut and watched some entourage.. exciting life i lead, i know. and then around 5 everyone got ready and i had my kickass dress from this boutique down by brunswick st. it was not as formal as say, prom would be, but more like a fraternity semi-formal or something. stupid itunes, you suck at party shuffle. anyways, everyone looked really nice and pretty and smiling faces and all that stuff. we got a taxi to the powerhouse and got shuffled up a mary's-only line (which was good beacuse the line was LONG! the tickets had sold out). so the theme was 'a black & white affair' so the decorations were all, well, b&w; it looked nice. so we grab a table and go to get in line for the drinks because. well. yeah. so then this dragonlady was all "dont line up for drinks! waiters will bring them out to you! if you line up for drinks i will close down the bar!" and we were all "okay dragonlady watch where you breath that fire this is an expensive dress" and sat down.. only to not be served drinks. so we went to the other bar on the other side of the room which was still serving drinks? and proceeded to double fist it most of the night (you could only get 2 drinks every time you went up. probably a good rule). the food was good and the dessert was chocolate cake YUM, it was nice to have a meal with it, the rest of the balls only had finger food which were either crap or went too fast. so after dinner there was dancing and all that which we did for a little bit but mostly just went around and talked to people. and it wasn't like there was a bunch of drunk people being stupid.. at least the mary's crowd. i know a number of people spewed but i can happily say i don't know who they are, they weren't in my college. it was just an overall great night, lots of fun four hours and hours and hours!! so the venue kicked us out around 1 so we went for the after party at f4, which was randomly somewhere in the city, we managed to find it with no problems (surprise!) and this place was a trip.. they started out playing general pop music (helllllooooo UFO song!) and then moved onto american classics (um, grease lightening?) all the while using lasers and strobe lights to maximize the cool factor. but on the plus side i finally got to dance..you know me.. i just wanna dance, fuck guys, lets just DANCE girls. (thank you dane cook for that one). god, i feel super boring right now, i hope this is not a chore to read this, i'm sure i will read it tomorrow and be like "wow..that sounds like a ball i would want to go.. NOT." this suit is gray not. but take my word for it, kiddies, mary's ball was off the heeeezy. so we left f4 around 3 when they turned the lights on and said "go home!" which basically meant "go back and make toasties and hang out in the jcr!" which we obediently did.

so this morning was recovery at the clyde..=jugs of fat frogs at 11am.. that's not even bad, believe me, i slept till around 1030 till i was woken up by the phone.. but apparently people were out in the courtyard around 9am predrinking for the recovery. hardcore here at mary's..or just alchies. i unfortunately had work scheme at 1 which absolutely s-u-c-k-e-d. then more clyde till i had a lecture at 5 at AFL world. oh, true story. so my friends give me a hard time for my absolute lack of work load (9.5 hours a week much?) so today everyone took the day off of uni for, well, recovery, and me, the hardworking uni student that i am, went to my lecture, which at least impressed people for half a second till i told them it was at afl world. groan. afl world = like an espn zone but completely footy-oriented. also, it was free, so why would i not go? that was a fun walk down to QV though. i reckon if that clicky man didn't click so loud a tram or two might've stripped me of a toe...

anwayys, afl world was pretty b.a... it definitely got my psyched up for CHICK'S FOOTY this weekend!!! tomorrow we have our last training session and then our first match is saturday at 10am against NEWMAN! which means i will be taking on none other than miss kristen aka roomz.. don't worry, i will not let our friendship get in the way of me TAKING HER DOWN TO CHINATOWN!

oh! and siobhan just called and i am choc choc chocolate touring with her tomorrow..mmm..probably a great idea before footy training. oh, and i found out that our matches on saturday are early which means i can still make it to the g for the st kilda/richmond footy match.. probably the last one i will see because then it goes into the playoffs and tickets get too expensive for poor lil ole me.

alright, i can barely keep my eyes open, yes it is only 1022pm but i have had a long day people! oh, true story, i though this was witty of me.. maybe not.. but let me bask in my self appointed glory anyway. so i registered amanda for a race this saturday to get her to start running again.. and i talked to her today and was like, oh, what are you doing saturday, because i have a problem.. i registered for this race on saturday in downers grove, but see, 1) i am not in america and 2) i put amanda instead of my own name. so i reckon she got the hint and i talked to george about it and woot! it's a go! also, i will be able to find out the results on the internets so if she doesn't end up running (god forbid, save her soul) i will know!

oh! and tuesday we had dinner with liz&luke..it was GREAT and we found out about some of the stuff we are doing in tassie.. including a tour of the cadbury factory (true story: liz said by the end of the tour we would be sick of chocolate, but to make sure we stock up on it anyways.. to her i say GOOD DAY! that will not happen), a bike ride down mt. wellington (big mountain near hobart), white water rafting (YEAH YEAH!), and a midnight tour of an old convict prison... liz said she'd email the final itinerary sometime this week so i should be finding out the rest soon.. but i reckon what i know now is pretty b.a.

alright, i'm peacing out of this joint, slash going to bed. you there..in america..wake up, yo, its 833, don't waste the day! love, me

28 August 2007

high fiiiiive!

guess where i just got back from. that's right. the LIBRARY. and that's not even the name of a pub.

oh, yeah.

26 August 2007

i just felt like running!

we all know how forrest gump is pretty much the most amazing of all time. i like it because it makes me feel bad about my life. not in a bad way, in a "look what this socially inept and mentally slow human being can do in one lifetime! what have you done, alycia?" kind of way. well, today, i stepped it up a notch.

remember when i was all "i love my body it is great!" and then i stopped running for 2 weeks because i got sick. that worked out well for me. so today was the 10k that i signed up for eons ago...and it was GREAT. first of all, how cool was it to be running a race in australia.. not to mention, free tshirt, medal, and sunday paper! those aussies really know how to throw a race party. anyways, it's been FANTASTIC weather the past couple days. nice and warm and upper 60s.. spring is finally here. so i ran for the first time in 2 weeks on wednesday. and then i ran on thursday. and then i took friday off because i didn't feel like running. and then i did a speed workout saturday. and today was the 10k and BAM after 3 days of training i didn't run PR or anything but i did do a decent time (for me) and was able to go the whole time and still have enough left for a kick at the end. my time ended up being around ~56 minutes.. results should be up soon, and i'll know the official. but considering i've only run a 10k twice, and the first time was with dad and we finished just over an hour, and the second time was the DG one where i ran a ~52 minutes, i am not disappointed. i hadn't run in 2 weeks and my body was like 'oh yeah!' and totally rocked. so i'm happy about that. now i am trying to find more races to run because that is seriously the best motivation to keep running and running fast.

speaking of which, i talked to amanda after my race and told her all about it.. it was so weird running without her. she's always on my side and we always start and finish together.. she was my main motivation this summer, she's the reason i am running right now, she's the reason i signed up for the marathon.. i wonder if she even knows that. seriously..her times are great, she was running just after she had vito and all this summer "after having a baby 4 months ago!" she's the person that i would be able to carry a conversation with and she's the one who would be like "no, alycia, you can't spring the last mile" and she's the reason i ran that half to begin with. when i talked to her today she told me she hadn't run since i left, really, and she has no races signed up or anything either. which is disappointing because she's FAST! and i can't help but want to get her out there running again.

anyways, i'm babbling, and you don't want to read this. my main point is: i love my sister, and it sucks running without her. there. i said it. let the tears flow.

so after the race i came back to college and met up with em and kathleen and we headed down to the g to see if we could get tickets to the essendon game. it was sold out, which was disappointing, so we headed to bridge road for some shopping. i ended up getting ball shoes and a summer dress! woo for warm weather!

now i'm back here, freshly showered (shh..dont tell anyone..definitely did not shower after race, although i did change and reapply the deodorant..) and now i'm headed down to brunswick st for dinner with a bunch of people. and then it's work time! (yeah, right?)

okay. don't tell amanda, but i'm signing her up for a race when i get back, too. that'll teach her to stop running.

ok! gotta go! love, me

25 August 2007

the sun is shining...

...birds are singing, bees are trying to have sex with them.

okay. now i'm not trying to preempt the weather but i'm thinking that spring is HEE-RE. that's 2 syllables in that here, too. so for the past couple days it has been a GORGEOUS upper 60s..today it got up to 70 and monday it is supposed to be 75. it's fantastic, i love it. keep this up, and melbourne just might make a marathoner out of me yet - i'm not staying inside when i could be outside running. speaking of which, i have the 10k tomorrow. eeek! my last race was the july4th one, the 4 miler with amanda.. gosh. that was a long time ago. i have been in australia for 51 days. i am about to start my 6th week of uni. mid-semester break is in 3 weeks! which means i need to get on booking my flights to brisbane. have i mentioned what i am doing yet for break?

so the first week is the IES field trip to tasmania... i don't know much about what we will actually be doing but it involves a trip to the cadbury chocolate factory (fyi: cadbury chocolate >>>> hershey's chocolate - except for reeses, which australia does not believe in). and we're going on a midnight ghost tour of a supposedly haunted prison. that's all i know, although tuesday we are having dinner with liz & luke so hopefully they can shed some more light on the trip. although it would be nice to be surprised about some things, too. like how the grampians was completely a shock and it was awesome.

the second week is on our own, so me, karri, and monica are headed up to brisbane. we're doing some tours, i think one of fraser island (world's largest sandbeach) and one up to the southern most point of the great barrier reef. i was so excited when i found out about the reef tour - that's the one thing i wanted to do while i was here, because who knows how much longer it will be here for? plus, since i am not going all the way up to cairns, there is less coral-bleaching because the sun isn't as strong as it is near the equator. this means more pretty coral for me! we also might head down to the gold coast or surfer's paradise for a day or two, but if we don't make it, it's aright, because i'm still planning a trip to sydney sometime in october for a 4 day weekend. adelaide is a maybe at this point. i guess i'll wait to see how my final exam schedule plans out to be.

speaking of final exams. let's talk about how i have NOT DONE ANYTHING for ANY CLASS AT ALL. um, alycia, i reckon study abroad does involve some sort of studying. now don't get me wrong.. i have gone to all my lectures and tutes. actually, i've only missed one lecture and that was for footy practice, but what's more australian than footy? in any case i have a bunch of essays due right before the break.. as well as an essay proposal due this tuesday, a 2000 word essay due this thursday, and a 500 word essay due sept 8th. now, the thing about uni here is that whereas the usa is all "pop quiz! 5 exams a semester! homework!" and you get your grade based on all of these combined, aussie uni is like "here! write an essay, it is worth 60% of your grade, and then your final essay is worth 40%!" so most of my classes have 2 assessments: one at midsemester, one due at the end, and then your grade is based on those two essays. oh boy. i should get on these.

but back to footy. so there's college sports and next weekend is chick's footy.. it is SO MUCH FUN! we had two training sessions already and although i am not very good.. we were doing a drill and after i kicked it to run to the other line i heard someone say "oh, she's a natural!" BOOO YAH. and next weekend is father's day (sept 2nd.. what the heck, australia?) which means lots of people might be going home which means MORE PLAYING TIME FOR ME?! we will seeeeee! either way i have to invest in footy socks and a mouthguard...fierce stuff here. also, do not be surprised if you get footies for christmas. it is just my way of finding people in the us to play footy with.

besides that..what has happened this past week? last night we had college netball finals, it was mary's vs. newman.. long story short, it was a great match, newmandestroyedus, and afterwards we went out to the clyde. i re-realized that vodka cruisers are not good skulled, and also not good green. my stomach did not thank me after. it did like the toastie though! and free chips!

the ball is in 4 days! i am super excited for that.. and today we bought tickets for the australia vs. argentina soccer match. i'm not a soccer fan at all, true, but then again i am not in america, and the game is at the mcg which will be holding 100k screaming soccer fans.. so i think i can handle being a fan for one night.

other than that. i cleaned my desk yesterday. i can see the gray colour of it now. anthony called me this morning, waking me up at 10.. for the first minute he didnt say who it was and my phone just shows it up as 'blocked'... and i had no idea who it was. then finally he was like "do you know who this is" and i was like "yes of course" because if i did this to someone i would hate for them to be like "uh..no" and lucky for me it was like CLICK! ANTHONY! and how awesome was it to hear from him.. it's been FOREVER.

yesterday i was on skype and saw amanda on, it was around 1130pm by her and she said that vito was having trouble falling asleep. so i sang him a lullaby and told him a story on the webcam and although it did not work at all on getting him to sleep.. it was nice to be able to at least somewhat connect to him. he is BIG! he has 2 teeth coming in and a full head of hair.. uncle jesse would be proud. that's the hardest thing about this whole trip.. not being able to see him grow up. how many chances do you get at that?

alright, folks. i got back from my room about an hour ago and i haven't showered yet. i bet you're really keen to know that, too. so i'm gonna go get my pineapple mango loofah on.. enjoy your saturday! i most definitely did!

love, me (i definitely was going to write alycia but wrote australia instead, too, fyi)

20 August 2007

you're invited to a wedding

news flash: i am getting married. to australia. and it will be wonderful. we are going to have a fantastic ceremony but the big fiesta will be the reception.. tim tams and nutrigrain galore, with all different flavors of cadbury dairy milk and kit kats. max brennar is supplying a chocolate fondue fountain and the waiters will be fairy penguins to save money on their uniforms. we're registered at the big w.

but seriously, folks. australia is pretty much the most amazing place in the world, if you haven't guessed that already. sorry, lemont, illinois, you're being bumped to number two.

yesterday we went on a trip to phillip island. to be honest, i had no expectations.. i knew about the fairy penguin parade and i figured we'd see kangaroos but it was more an escape from melbourne to me than anything else. and, if anything, i was upset about missing open day for the uni, and wing parties at college. but that was all made up for by 1030 when we hit up some small town outside of the island and saw lots of pelicans. they were just strutting their stuff all over the beach, walking around like they owned the place. leave it to team ies to be like, no, fools, we will not allow that to happen, and we pretty much chased them around the small pier area. oh! and i saw the sting ray that killed steve irwin! or maybe it was the brother. either way, we went out onto a dock, and looked down in a shallow foot of water only to see this massive, 5-foot-wide stingray floating around waiting to attack his next victim. i didn't even see it at first, i had it confused with a pile of seaweed. let that be a lesson to me when i finally actually go into the water: stay away from seaweed that has a tail.

after the pelicans we went to a phillip island beach that has some of the best views i have ever seen. the water was not hot but not lake michigan cold.. people were surfing (with wetsuits) and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.. we definitely lucked out on that one; other people who have gone have had it rain or be cold.. stefan (our tour guide) told us to bring our rain jackets on our beach trek but it was so warm that we ended up just stripping off layers. so the beach was pristine (yes i just google definitioned that word) and the cliffs were stunning and between the water and the sky i've never seen that many different shades of blue in one setting. the clouds are different here, too. lower. like you can just jump up and grab them out of the sky, and then put them into your hot chocolate like marshmallows. mmm..marshmallows. i really want a smore.

i'd put up pictures right about this point because it's easier to see what a mean from actually seeing what i mean. but hte carder reader has gone defunct and until i find one/buy one my marshmallow analogies are the best you're gonna get. or look on facebook. everyone that went on the trip took over 100 pictures each.. so i'm sure you'll see what i mean by sorting through the thousands of pictures. facebook is probably lucky they have the 60 photo limit per album.

so after the beach we stopped at a koala sanctuary and the koalas were all tripped out on eucalyptus and not moving. but it was nice to look at balls of fur. apparently, these bad boys poop 70-100 pellets a day which led to a humorous conversation... basically, it ended up as the boys going "what, girls don't poop or fart" and kristen shooting back with "um, clearly you haven't spent enough time with alycia and siobhan." listen, people, i can't help my bowels. actually, i was skyping my family today and my dad was like "how are your farts doing?" because clearly that is one of my best characteristics. seriously though. you get into a room with me and my sister after we've eaten dinner (of vegetables) and you will be begging for chinese water torture. ok. now that i've sufficiently destroyed any chances of lasting relationships via blogger...

so after the koalas we had lunch by the beach.. which ended up more as a photo shoot on some semi-volcanic-formed rocks. and we ended up searching for a loo only to find a crazy style automatic one.. as in.. press the button, door opens, press the button, door locks, you have 10 minutes to do your doody, classical music plays, automatic soap water dryer, press the button toliet flushes door unlocks BAM! you've just had a new and improved bathroom experience! i've never had anything like it.

then we headed on over to a wildlife sanctuary (as if anything could beat the loo experience) and we were given a feed bag and told to go wild. so you walk out into this open field with about 100 or so kangaroos. you shake the bag a little bit, hold out your hand, and all of a sudden you have kangaroos from all angles hopping right up to you. and it it doesn't look like they are going to stop - you expect them to just plow you right over. and some of them might've, if i didn't have my awesome cat-like reflexes. so they nuzzle their little noses in your hand and leave traces of saliva that i will cherish forever. some of them were females (obviously?) and had their pouches with little tails and feet sticking out..apparently little joeys like hanging out upside down? and you could shake their feets and pet their tails and then they'd pop their little heads out just to see what was going on. it was the most adorable thing ever. and we fed wallabies too, and some wombats, and EMUS! the emus were frickin CRAZY...these things would snap at your hand and just go crazy when they got food.. apparently they are low on the cordination scale and had no concept of manners.. lets just say up till that point i hadn't feared for my life in australia yet. i think karri got a video of it. hopefully she'll post in on youtube (hint, hint, karri) and you can check out what i mean. seriously. these things did not even compare to tim and jonathan fighting. it was a whole new level of extremisim.

okay, keep going. then we headed to 'the nobbies' and saw the sunset over the bay... spectacular. AND we got a two-for-one deal and were right in the middle of a seagull orgy! seriously..hundreds and hundreds of seagulls just going at it.. i'd insert a picture here to but YOU SICKO WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE THAT? (i'll put one up as soon as that card reader starts working out for me).

then finally it was time for the penguin parade! it's this daily 'event' where hundreds of fairy penguins (less than a foot tall) come up from the ocean and burrow into the vegetation ashore. it happens every night right after sunset, for us, it was around 630pm. a bit underwhelming, i might say, still cool and a good experience but it was dark and cold and yes they were small but. i'd rather feed kangaroos out of my palm. you weren't allowed to take pictures, someone said something about how the flash could burn their retinas, and that's why it was so funny when siobhan took a flash picture and everyone around GLARED so evilly.. i could feel the pitchforks were coming, so we booked it out of there.

and the busride home was great. one of those nights were you just realize how lucky you are to be in australia with an amazing group of friends and having an experience that few people will ever know. and, flickering lights and karaoking aerosmith doesn't hurt.

also - the sky at night in australia? no little dipper, no bigger dipper, i don't know what i'm looking at. but it's gorgeous, and i love it, and i never want to leave.

i skyped my family today, too, well, tim and dad and mom for a little bit. i talked to dad and tim for over an hour; it's been over a week and half since i last had a real conversation with them. loyola threw away a computer or something with my social security ### and info on it..way to be, loyolatown.. identity theft, woo! i seriously hate that school. they are retarded. the study abroad department is pretty much the only redeeming factor...

alrights. i have to go get rsvp'd for my faculy dinner tomorrow (read: free wine). i'm out like a koala on eucalyptus.

love me