Friday, November 6, 2009

Now and Beyond

Its really warm here now, like 30's... oh, I'm sorry, that's in celsius... anywho... I am officially done with school. My papers weren't too bad, this entire semester in general wasn't too bad, I could have used some of this free time last year, that's fo sho. Now I'm looking forward to Sir Kevin Smith, who will be here in T-3days and we will embark to New Zealand. I should let Kevin take over right now, as he is seeing more Aussie than I probably have. Change one letter and that sentence it does a 180. Maybe I should throw an 'of' in there.. meh, too much work.

Ummmmm and then after NZ I come back here for two days, then to Darwin in Northern Australia for a day. Then off to Malaysia from Nov. 28-Dec8, Singapore Dec8-Dec14, Thailand Dec14-27, Then back in Canberra for a few days...India was canceled on account of them having a visa system that's slow as. That's what they say here, when they want to describe something they just leave the simile up to your imagination, look up "beached as" on youtube, and that is what I live with everyday.

Just got some vaccinations, got me some Typhoid, some Hep-A, a little Polio, and got that H1N1 all up in me.

As far as that I am taking these few days to just relax and do absofruitly nothing while everyone else studies. Pack a little, do some research maybe. Thats about it. I'll be joining team ginger soon. I could keep the blonde hair but by the time I came back it would be 6th grade frosted tips all over again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So as most of you know Tessa came to visit and we stormed through Australia in a span of 2 weeks. We went from Sydney to the Gold Coast (Surfer's Paradise) to the Whitsunday Islands,back to Sydney then to Melbourne, to Canberra. It was exhausting, but the trip of a lifetime. So many long talks, great beaches, interesting room mates, long bus/train/plane/boat rides, and good beer.

I have a feeling that this trip will be one that when I look back on my time here in Australia, it may be the only thing I remember, if not the memory my brain indexes with top priority. Sort of like how I can't remember much of this summer before or after Rothbury, or much of 2nd grade besides when Ms. Current shoved me up against the heater. Sadly, I will only be able to conjure up a few images of being a the hostel bar in Airlie Beach, or watching the sun set on Long Island, but not able to recall the care-free feelings ignoring my back pain, empty wallet, or future assignments. It sucks that such an amazing trip will eventually become a "remember when" memory and nothing more... Look at me, 20 years old and talking about life, what a bunch of bullshit.

To tell you all the details of the trip would mean me typing thousands upon thousands of words. However, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will just let you look at the pictures. Maybe Tessa will give me some to add later. Maybe I will add captions to each one. Maybe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Since Sydney

Nothing has really happened since then. I got shat on with a big research paper and a story, and planning trip over break. There was a pretty good Toga party thrown in one of the wings of Bruce Hall, one kid set up concert sized speakers at the end of the hall and everyone went crazy. There was also a really lame booze cruise. And by lame I mean it wasn't really a booze cruise, it was thrown by some asian association, and we paid $40 a ticket to ride in slow circles while eating dinner and only being provided two bottles of wine. These "balls" as they call them can go either way, you usually pay $40 and if you're lucky there will be an "Open bar, dude!" But that was the first and last one I am going to... well maybe one more if its cheaper. You usually have to dress up, this weekend is the Inter-hall ball and it is themed the 7 deadly sins, the booze cruise was pirate themed. I was lazy and went as Treasure r, and just tapped my nose every time someone read it and looked to me for explanation.

Anywho, this weekend was awesome. A kid named Andy took me, Jo (girl from Texas) and Adam (a Swede) to his house in a small village about an hour from Sydney called "Pretty Beach." His house was right in the national forest in a bunch of semi-mountains, and about a 45 second walk from the beach. We rockclimbed/bush-walked our way along the coast to a small secluded beach that could only otherwise be reached by boat. The water was kind of warm, and barely salty. From there he took us to a small winery to taste wine (where I bought two really awesome bottles of wine for ma and pa for thanksgiving but usa doesn't allow alch. do be shipped and the place doesn't ship internationally, so i guess tessa and i will have to drink them), then we went someewwhherreee ellseeee.... yeah... oh lunch, then we came back and hung out, then he cooked us up an authentic australian meal: pumpkin and sweet potato, baked potato and onion, steamed green beans and broccoli, and KANGAROO. It was awesome. Kangaroo is one of the healthiest meat out there, but there is a whole list of reasons its not a bigger export. The swede is determined to open the market, and kept telling me to invest in kangaroo meat. Its only like $5 a Kg, so, pretty cheap and extremely healthy. Look that s up if'n you don't believe me.

I learned a whole bunch of stuff, since Jo and Andy are getting their degrees in forestry or farming or something. But they were both like walking books when it came to plants and animals. They would be talking about whale's gestation periods while I was wondering what it would be like to walk on water. But I decided its not that cool of a power anyway, more for show if anything. I mean, its just like walking on the ground except there is nowhere to go. And if you got thirsty, you couldn't really just bend over and start sucking the ground... yeah, a wholeee bunch of things wrong with walking on water.


That's about it.

Oh yeah, I bleached my hair.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sydney a Second Time

This trip was a lot more laid back, and southern-illinois diva-less. We left Friday morning at 6:30AM, to catch the 7AM bus... I guess I should backtrack by saying Thursday night, for some reason, I was on a mission to get noodle-legged, maybe because I didn't have to play soccer the next day, and could instead "sleep on the bus." Which when on the bus is the most retarded excuse to drink, but when you are drinking the opportunity to "sleep on the bus/train/plane" seems pretty reasonable. But really, instead of sleeping you are cramped into a tiny seat next to a large person who looks like man but sounds like a woman, resisting the motion of the bus, refusing to open your eyes or speak, and in general hoping the bus driver loses control on a bridge, releasing you from the heavy, groggy, painful, sweaty hell you are currently suffering.

Needless to say, the 3/4 of Friday sucked. The group pounded on my door for twenty minutes before they finally heard a groan, and an array of obscenities. I finally emerged, struggling to put my sweatshirt on with 20min to get to the bus. We wandered around a bit before checking into the hostel. Then we found some Japanese restaurant to eat at, where they refused to constantly refill my water glass. From there we moved to an ice cream shop that offers these famous mountains of ice cream. If the bus wasn't enough torture, I was now just being dragged through the mud. As I started to perk up we took a ferry to Manly beach, but it was around 4pm, overcast, and the sun was about to go down. So on the way back we stopped by the Opera House, which at night is pretty awesome. It was kind of warm, a clear sky, bands were playing at the seaside restaurants, and the bridge and house were all lit up. I'll see if I can find some pictures Ricky took and put them on the site.

The second day we went to Bondi Beach. We got there around 10AM, ate breakfast next to the beach, and walked around the shops. It was overcast and kind of cold around, but at noon, like clockwork, all the clouds cleared and it was warm and sunny. I forgot my camera... or figured I forgot my camera in my drunken stupor, but when I got back into my room Saturday night I found it in my bag, whoops.

Aand that's about it...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Culture Clash

It has become a habit of mine to make peanut butter and jelly/banana sandwiches for a late night snack. We always eat dinner at 5pm on the dot, just like freshman year, except here they do not have Latenight, where I could buy anything from cereal, to a peanut butter smoothies, to pizza, to cheese burgers, or MEGA cheeseburgers, to awesome chicken sandwiches, to ice cream........ anyway... I always grab three or eight peanut butter and jelly packets, and two pieces of bread.

The other day, however, I was astounded, even electrified to find that someone had started stocking the small kitchenette down the hall with bread, the peanut butter/jelly/vegemite (gross) tray, cereal, and even fruit! I was so happy that I need no longer scavenge food out of the cafeteria every night, and could instead make sandwiches at my own fancy.

However, this all shortly came to an end when what seemed like the next day all the food was gone! It was a grey day to say the least.

So at lunch I decided to get to the bottom of this and here is how the conversation went:

"...I mean, who took all that food? There was a ton of bread and fruit and stuff...I was so excited and then it was just gone! Who does that?"

girl, looking up from her plate "That food was for Ramadan."


"They fast from sunrise to sunset all month"

"I uhh, didn't take any... I just wanted to..."


p.s. Since writing this, I've stolen bread twice, tucking into my sweatshirt as I walk down the hall. I figured it's okay to take things from people, as long as they are wrong.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Trip to Sydney

I should have gotten to this earlier, since I am beginning to forget all the good details, but I ran out of internet credits so I have to wait. That, and I had a paper that I hadn't started by 1pm Monday, and it was due at 4pm... I just needed to prove that I'm better than everyone else...I guess I haven't gotten my grade back yet, but I think it is pretty o.k.

Pictures of the trip

Anyway, Sydney... where do I start...
It is a 3 hour bus ride there...We had a good time/ interesting experience with the hostel. We booked it primarily because they offered a deal that if you ate 15 of their free pancakes on Sunday morning, you got a night free... We didn't make it until Sunday. When we got off the bus we walked a good 20 min, watching the nicer buildings turn into car stores, then I found myself looking around, and saying "... I think... no we are definitely in the red light district." We were, and our hostel was on dark alley paralleling the clubs. It was kind of funny, we asked some firefighters how to get to the address of the hostel and this is what they said (slightly exaggerated) "Ok, take this street all the way down until it splits, stick to the left, less busy street. You'll see a big lit up hotel, keep walking, its down the block more." The pictures actually make the room look good, since the flash makes the paint look new, and not moldy and chipping, and blankets over the stained mattresses.

We decided to go walk around, and get something to eat. As we were walking out a cameraman and two police men were walking in... It had to have been a murder, because when we came back the cops asked if we were staying there and what room we were in. I started joking that it was old white men taking and torturing young Americans, and as I said that there was a creepy grinning old man in a pink polo at the top of the stairs... Most of us reveled in staying in a crappy, cheap hostel, but one kid just could not stand it and had booked a room at the Hilton, and wouldn't stay anywhere else (I really don't like this kid. I remember Emma talking about having a Capt. Buzzkill while studying abroad, this kid is like Admiral Buzzkill, or even Chief of Staff Buzzkill). So the second night we all payed $44 to stay on the floor of the Hilton. We went from staying at the worst place in Sydney to the best place.

On Saturday we did all the touristy stuff - Aquarium, Opera House (kind of), the bridge, Center Point (a really tall tower that you can see all of Sydney from), and the Wildlife reservation. I also wandered into a cool little flee market.

Sunday, we met up with a native Sydneyite and she took us to Bondi Beach. I guess it is really commercialized and considered a tourist beach, but it was pretty awesome. We ate fish and chips and sat/slept there all day... Then we went to China town before leaving, and there is another super cheap flee market there, but by this time I had run out of money.

Next time should be more fun since we have a better feel, and I am also making a perfect list of stuff to do/what hostel to stay at (its much cleaner/better, and very central) for when TESSA VISITS!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Most Dangerous Game

There is an interesting game going on in Bruce Hall right now, called Murder. The rules are as follows: Everyone who signs up is given an envelope at midnight with a small water gun and a "target" (another person to kill). Basically you are supposed to stalk and kill your assigned person. However, no one can witness it. So it is really funny, because everyone is extremely paranoid; in the dining samnovario hall everyone is eyeing everyone else, trying to figure out who is hunting them, or waiting until their target leaves. No one walks alone in the hall or answers their door - always looking over their shoulder. Some people stalk in the bathrooms, or break into a target's rooms and wait for their unsuspecting victim to walk in. As the game goes on people trade underground info. For example I was able to chalk up two kills because I, being a double agent, told my neighbor who was after him, and at the same time told his murderer where he was. That way, I found out who was after me, and where my target was. I killed my first two by getting their friends to knock on the door, then when my target answered the door, I burst in and their friend ran away. My next target is Yio Khang Shii, who might win by default, because no one knows who the f she/he is.

But besides my deathly cold and three papers, that is what is currently consuming my life.

Oh yeah,the tattoo is fake, I knew it was fake when I woke up although not knowing where it came from... we must have run into a chinaman with a marker in some pizza shop or something. I just thought I would create some buzz, but nothing gets past you guys!~!~!~!!~!!~!!~~~!!~1~!`1!~~!

I've tried to leave comments too, but it won't let me, so, like an angry Betta fish in front of a mirror, I'll keep fighting.

Sydney on Friday!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Uh Oh.

Woke up this morning with this... details coming as soon as I get to the dining hall and figure out what happened last night...

UPDATE: I asked the kid down the hall, apparently it is Chinese for "I like cheese pizza" or literally "Cheese biscuits make me happy"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let's Complain About Stuff

Hey, I have an idea: Lets take the things we like, make them smaller, and then jack up the prices.

This cup of coffee cost $2.80, which is about 2.30 in Uhmerica. If I remember right, I would, on a regular basis, go to Espresso Royale and get 4x this amount for 3.50 (if it wasn't free). These dammed pricey Australians, half of it is milk anyway. The conversation should have gone like this: "Hi lady, can I have 7oz of hot milk with an ounce coffee for, oh I don't know, 3 dollars? Great, thanks!" This means if I am to buy, say, 100 coffees this semester, it will cost sommmetthiinnngg liiiikkkeeee.... carry the 2, add the zeeerroooo..... two... two hundred annnnndddd eighty dollars?

p.s. I just caught myself in the 3rd minute of Distant Ocean Surf, good thing I had this coffee to keep me awake. Also, you're not mistaken, there are three wolves on my shirt (and one moon).

And thanks for all the comments, guys. It helps me not feel like I'm talking to Saskia's dolls again.

Did I say again?

I meant if I were to ever talk... or had ever talked to dolls... that, that's what it would feel like....

...except they talked back

Friday, July 24, 2009


Charles "Driving a Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't stop me from being a schlemiel" Barlow publicly complained that my blog has become "stale." Oh, I'm sorry that I can't keep you entertained, Dachaz. Typical Americans, "Entertain me. Give me flashy pictures and freedom fries and wild stories about drunk coeds."

But I did take some pictures.

They are here ...Shutterfly doesn't let me just link to the album, I have to create a corny website (which is geared towards families, or rather self-absorbed young mothers attempting to exhibit a happy life to their old high school friends) (I can say this because Monica and Saskia don't have websites... I hope). I mean, look at the stock images that I haven't removed yet, its pretty obvious. Anyway, whenever I put up pictures I'll just link to that site; I don't have children, and I don't expect you to check up on it. I pulled a Steve and decided to jog around and learn the area, but I got bored with running on the sidewalk and this little trail kind of attracted me, so I went down it - and the pictures are of what I found. I go back everyday now, so when I finally feel like I have covered the entire place (I get lost every time I go) I will put more pictures up. I'll also add unbiased pictures of the campus whenever the trees begin to bloom.

Speaking of getting lost, it is definitely one thing I have gotten a knack for. And not just since being here, back home I found myself getting lost a few times - I would tell about them, but that would be outside the canon of this blog. In the first 20.5 years of my life I don't really remember getting lost much, but I have seriously gotten lost like 10 times in the last three moths, and 6 times in the last week. Not just, "Oh I kind of know where I'm at, and there is a landmark to follow," I mean, "I honestly have no idea where I am at, or which direction to go, so I guess I'll just keep going this way," and often with no phone.

So recently I was in the midst of getting lost and I happened to walk through the ANU men's soccer team's first practice of the season. I happened to have my spikes on me, since I was looking for the Bruce Hall's soccer practice. When I asked them for directions to Willow's Oval, the coach noticed I had my spikes and asked if I just wanted to play with them. So I did. And now we have a game in Brisbon on Saturday!

No, actually that didn't happen. Well, I did wander through their practice, and the rest is what I was fantasizing about instead of listening to directions. Then I just got flat out lost trying to find Willow's Oval while daydreaming about all the money I would have when the professional scout came to one of our games and asked me to play for the Australian professional team.

I also thought about what would happen if I got mugged, but instead of thinking about where I would run or what I would do, I just thought of what I would say when I inevitably knocked him out. And the best I could come up with was "America, bitch." And then maybe take his money or anything of value he might have. You know, teach him a lesson right? Would you take something from a person who tries to mug you? Feel free to answer in the comments.

mmmmaaaaa huhhhhh ok where was I. Oh right, America. The classes here are pretty much the same setup. A few things different: they call discussion sections tutorials, lectures are the full 60 minutes - so no walking time (stupid), the overall registration/getting books schema is different, but those are all different within different schools. I'm taking a political science class called Money, Power, War - it seems pretty interesting, and of course there is a pretty good amount of anti-American sentiment. The English class I am taking is called Democratic Vistas: American Literature... something... its alright, seemed a little boring but we'll see. and then Im taking a narratology /newmedia class. I want to take a class just about Australia but there isn't much of a selection, and I need to keep my schedule clear for travel.

but that is about it so far, nothing too exciting - besides learning New Zealand rule Circle of Death.

p.s. at the bars they stamp the underside of your wrist... not going to lie, I kind of like the way the ink looks on my wrist....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Update

Ok, nothing really special has happened lately, so I will give you an observation of the nightlife

This week is like an orientation week, so the dorm/hall/(they call college) has a bunch of activities planned from Thursday to Sunday. Pretty much take your typical American dorm icebreakers and infuse them with lots of booze. It is funny how they embrace drinking here, as opposed to the US supressing it. There are signs advertising each social event in the halls and cafeteria so that everyone knows what is going on. I guess you could compare each dorm (or "college") to a fraternity - social events are planned for everyone, everyone knows each other, and you are identified by the college you live at. Ergo, each college has certain reputations; I don't really know what Bruce Hall's reputation is, but it is pretty social, more social than the rest I think anyway.

Another fun fact is that there is a bar in the dorm, which is pretty awesome. So while unsupervised American teens secretly get s-faced in their dorm rooms, Australian kids get together in the 'college' bar (called the Buttery) before going out - The Buttery is student run, and closes at ten. And this is all great and fun, except that alcohol is expensive as d. Seriously, one bar I went to charged $6.50 for a gin and tonic; the closest IGA sells a dece 6-pack for 20 bonaduce's. I guess they also refuse to drink beer out of cans, so there is no going out and picking up a few cubes of keystone for cheap, so today a New Zealander named Edmund and I went out and found 2 24 bottle cases for $30 each, not too bad. But we did have to walk the 2 miles carrying 24 heavy bottles (the beer is called Pure Blonde - I like my women like I like my beer (blonde - not cheap... or glass)).

So on Thursday night a lot of people just gathered in the hall, then went out to the pubs. Then Friday there was a graffiti party in the Buttery and then everyone went to the pubs. Last night there was a big bonfire. Tonight there is a "Back to School" party where everyone is supposed to wear their school uniforms from back in the day. I don't have one, so I'll have to be creative. Before that, however, Edmund and I are putting together a good ole fashion power hour, except Edmund calls it "Centurian" and there is no music, just a person with a timer, beer, and shot glasses - I guess they are strictly business in New Zealand.

Classes start next week, which will change things just as they started to settle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Killing Them Softly

Another notable feature of the bathrooms here is that they are transsexual... or, no, that's not right... gender neutral - I guess would be politically correct. I don't really know the point of this, maybe its a coming-of-age homophobia sort of thing. Anywho, I knew eventually it would create some sort of trouble for me, and it didn't take very long. Today after my jog, (I'll write about this (and add pictures) later, it was AWESOME)), I went into the shower and as I was walking in the first cute girl I have encountered so far was walking out. So, as my brain was urging say something clever, say something clever, my body was doing a double fist pump, and my mouth was saying, "Unisex!"

And as my hands began to fall, my towel dropped.

Ok, that last part didn't really happen. But she gave me some sort of confused yet amused "I don't really know what that means..." look - the same look my brain was thinking - and shifted her gaze towards the door.

Strike two Myers, Strike two.

Also, first night out in Australia tonight (hopefully), we'll see what that has in store...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Might Be Home Sooner Than Expected

Today was the last day of International Orientation meeting things. A bus tour took us around all the sites of Canberra, past the Art Museum, History Museum, up some mountain with a good view, around all the embassies, and finally to the pride of Canberra, the Australian Parliament House. The house is pretty huge and awesome, we went on yet another tour through the great hall and each house (one house of Representatives, then one for the senate - the equivalent of American Congress). I forgot my camera, but took a few pictures on my phone of each house, they were pretty "neat". It is pretty new, built in '88, but I'm sure you all knew that... Anywho, we were given ten minutes to look around, and I, in true Myers-family fashion, was not satisfied with what was open to the general public. So, wandering off alone I found myself lost and far away from the giant herd of shuffling, picture snapping international kids - I tried using my time-tested gettin'-around instincts to get back to the bus but time was running out, so I started to worry. Then I remembered that the tour guide said something about going up to the roof to see the giant flag or something, so figuring that they all did what they were told I looked for the fastest way to get back into the group. I walked outside to see if there was a way up to the roof, and there was. It was easy, just a big grassy knoll that led right up to the top - how simple! Well, when I finally got to the top there was a fence that said something to the effect of "No Trespassing" (I didn't read it).

So I hopped the fence... well, both fences... and just as I was about to slither and blend right back into the crowd a policeman came and called me out. He took me back over to the fence, and took my information down, yadda yadda yadda (except I don't know what happens with my information... it must be entered somewhere, otherwise what is the point of taking it?) Apparently I was "trespassing" because the only allowed way to the top is through the elevator, since to be on the elevator is to be inside, and to be inside is to have "security clearance." He was actually pretty nice, had just gotten back from a vacation to Vegas, so I chewed the fat with him about that and other stuff. He apologized for having to "bust my balls" which I thought was funny. He also noted, and I realized, that in the States I would probably be knocked up to some security threat level orange, not let on airplanes, and thrown in the cellar prison for three days of interrogation, instead his prosecution was to "see me out" and I went back the way I came.

So there you go, four days in Australia and I'm already in the books.

Monday, July 13, 2009

put another shrimp on the barby

If you're reading this it means you are using the internet! Hooray! You are better than me, I am currently writing this offline, because that is how bored I am. No internet, TV that I know of, or anything else really. Aren't those the only things in life anyway? What am I supposed to do, read a book? I have to keep the people happy, you know. And they would probably charge me for reading anyway, these damn Australians.
They are annoyingly green here, I just want to live at my American wasteful self. For example, instead of an unlimited roll of toilet paper there are little two-square pull outs (like tissues). I mean really, I am just going to pull out handfulls still. Its not like I am going to be like "Eh, good enough I guess, need to keep the planet in mind." Future generations won't care about me, so why should give an s about them? Anywho, a few other things they do are the half-flush (which is actually a good idea) and due to the 11 year or so drought here they want to limit shower times to ~4min. Oh, and internet costs $7 per GB, which SUCKS. GIVE ME UNLIMITED INTERNET!!!!!! So I won't be able to load up as many pictures here as I would like or anything. I think I can go to an internet cafe or something... maybe... and the library allows me a free GB per day which is pretty good, but all this will hopefully be figured out soon. Pray the internet rationing never comes to America, pray that as an American your internet stomachs shall never go hungry. "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from rationed internet" -Abraham Lincoln.

My room is pretty small, but no room mate which is good, because I generally hate people. Yesterday (Sunday Jul 12) I was pretty unhappy. After 30+ hours of hectic travel (long hot lines, 14 hour flight, missed flight, waiting for luggage) and little sleep, I was forced to walk ~2miles to the mall (which is pretty huge) and buy a bunch of stuff that these penny pinching australians didn't provide (bedding mostly) and other stuff, which cost a lot of money. Then I forced myself to sleep/collapsed at 430, missed dinner, and slept until around 6am. Today I met a fellow American, Ricky from Queens, who was pretty much in the same boat, we all just got thrown into our rooms with no internet or anything. NO INTERNET! That is pretty much it so far. Things are starting to get better, I register for classes tomorrow and it looks like I could have classes limited to Tuesday and Wednesday, which would be sweet if there was anything to do here... but it is only the second day and I could discover more things. Its just that if I were in New South Whales or Sydney I wouldn't have this problem; I would just go to the beach every day. But Noooo I had to pick boring old Canberra, but Ill see how boring it gets. I could just sit alone in a pub 5/7 days I guess. I hope I can travel alot, but it seems like the people I have talked to so far just want to go to New Zealand, but I want to visit every worthwhile city in Australia plus New Zealand and Thailand. So maybe I will meet some people who have the same mindset.

Weather: Floating around 50 F, partly cloudy... feels like Fall in Illinois.