Oh, Chickens

Joel told me a story this morning about a chicken in the 1940’s that survived getting his head chopped off. Joel claims that this chicken, dubbed “Headless Mike” lived without a head for 4 years, before choking to death accidentally. Apparently, Headless Mike was so famous, he went on a country wide tour and become a phenomenon. Some tabloid rag, I think it was Life, ran a cover story on him, he was so popular.

And I was all, “ok, yeah. That reeeeeally happened.” Because there’s no way a chicken could live without a brain.

And Joel showed me pictures and read me articles that were supposed to show me “proof” that this chicken actually happened. I say, it’s pretty convenient that this miracle chicken existed before videos could be made of it.

And then Joel dragged my dad into it. Ok, Joel. (as if my dad having a degree in Agricultural Science and growing up on farms and having been a manager of a Purdue factory gives him any credibility)

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.28.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.34.28 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.34.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.35.03 PM

so I learned two things today:

1) Joel and my dad are both way more gullible than I thought. “science” — hah.
2) My dad is an expert in chicken execution.

So What and Table Scraps

So what, it’s been a bad week. So what, I’ve been grumpy since 6 AM on Monday morning. So what, I got frustrating news about my background check. So what, I’m broke. So what, I was supposed to be paid today and it didn’t happen. So what, my Plan B for background check isn’t as convenient as I once thought. So what, that paycheck is spent before it hits my bank account. So what, I got out of work late and I’m sitting in bus traffic and I’ll be home so much later than I usually am. So what if almost everything I tried to do went wrong today.

So what. Shit happens. I’m so tired of feeding my sour over it mood by being in a shit frame of mind.

So, to emphasise the positive: in spite of being broke, Joel has managed to cobble together awesome dinners all week (I made dinner on Sunday and have been useless ever since). Despite of my grumpy/easily overwhelmed mood of unknown origins this week, I’ve been able to put my head down at work, and just grind shit out as people ask for it. And as a result, the time at work has zipped by quicker than usual. My background check is just a little more complicated and expensive — It’s not impossible. I had an appraisal at work and I got a rave review. I’m still sitting in bus traffic and I’ll be home super late, which sucks, but at least I’m not driving in it. And I get time to blog. So that’s nice. It takes me two buses to get home, I only had 1 ride on my bus pass, and my transport card is in the negative (see: supposed to be paid today), so I was worried about how I would get home. But the first bus had broken pass readers so I got a free ride, leaving my last ride on my bus pass for my second bus. Woo! Joel is awesome, and I’m very lucky. And it’s Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday. And that means the weekend is nigh! Yes, sweet weekend. Come to me.

And now, I’m home. I’m in sweat pants. And I have a date with this lady:


while I wait for this guy:


Broke, grumpy, shit week or not, I have more blessings than burdens, and I have to remember that This too shall come to pass. And it always does.

But seriously, counting down the minutes til end of day Friday.

New Sock Day

I rarely, if ever, buy socks. I can remember the last three times new socks came into my life: a) when I got a bulk pack of gold toe/white top cotton crew socks for Christmas in 2002; b) scoring a bulk pack of cotton no shoe socks at a White Elephant in 2009 (someone got the socks and threw them into the “free to good home” pile. Who passes on free socks?! I also got the entire Beatles discography on one CD. Best White Elephant ever. Except for that time I got a kindle. I’m pretty lucky when it comes to White Elephant. Anyway–) and c) when Joel bought me awesome socks for my birthday last year. I wear socks until they are literally falling apart before I buy new ones, so my sock buying is usually every 5-7 years. Wild.


When I was packing my suitcases for Sydney, I threw out all my old, hole ridden socks — which was all but three pairs (which happen to be the 3 pairs I’ve had for like 17 years and that won’t die): a pair of red argyle socks that I nabbed from my mom, another pair of red socks that I nabbed from my mom, and a pair of no show socks with cows on them that I nabbed from my sister when I was in high school. I thought about buying more before I left, but I was all “it’s always summer there and I won’t need socks! Lol!” I packed the three pairs and that was that. Flash forward to Sydney winter, where socks are a daily requirement and the three ancient pairs I brought all now have holes in them. And Joel is getting suspicious of me stealing his socks (because I definitely have been).

So today, I picked up a brand new 3 pack of socks. I got home and immediately put on a pair.

New Sock Day combined with New $10 Sweat Pants Day? GET OUTTA HERE.

Is there anything better than New Sock Day? I’m surprised that I don’t buy socks at the first of every week, because I’m hard pressed to find something better than putting on a brand new pair of socks. Is there something in this world that holds more promise, gives more comfort, or makes you feel more primed and ready to take on the day than a brand new pair of socks?

I had a friend who once said, “Every day would be fantastic if it started with a brand new pair of socks.” And I totally agree.

The next two days are going to be amazing.

“I punched a shark!”

No, not me.

But Mick Fanning did. And it’s on every news channel in Australia. Seriously. At work, my desk is under three flat screen TVs. And at lunch time yesterday, all three were showing footage of Fanning going from the airport to his first press event.

Must be a slow news week. 

Also, Australians are badass.

And #allsharklivesmatter

3df084d7c71a2e44633145f4f27dc4b3But, can Mick Fanning eat 36 oz of oatmeal and survive?

Living on the Edge: Oatmeal

Or, as they call it here, porridge. But, being an American and not an orphan, I call it oatmeal.

I’m a big fan of instant oatmeal for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. It’s filling and delicious. When I was a kid, I would only eat either the Quaker Maple Brown Sugar flavor, or my mom’s stove top oats with added brown sugar, real sugar, and milk. I was picky eater. And I had the metabolism of a hummingbird, apparently.

Because I was super picky, I have – and still have – a huge issue with textures. For example, I loved oatmeal because I could add enough oats until it became a solid mass, whereas Cream of Wheat cereals were always too watery and gritty. And I had the unfortunate experience of eating a bowl of Cream of Wheat while watching Alien 3 at the part where the alien explodes out of the dog’a stomach and the entrails bore a striking resemblance to the cream of wheat and there are some things you just don’t forget.

[This would have been where I put the screen shot of the dog’s stomach exploding, to give you a visual reference, but I decided to be nice and forego it. This time.]

This texture obsession thing has always dictated how I eat my oatmeal. While I’ve branched out to different flavours (vanilla or strawberries n cream are delightful), the way I eat it remains the same.

  1. Rip open oatmeal pack, pour into mug (always a mug)
  2. Put the recommended amount of water
  3. Microwave for 90 secs
  4. Mix in second pack of oatmeal and stir until a solid mass
  5. Cut into slices and eat

Just kidding with that last step — but two packs oatmeal to one pack water makes it gummy and solid, and I love it right down to the bottom of my weird little soul. I’ve tried using one pack and adding less water, and it works in a pinch for when I only have one pack, but it leaves me hungry. And eating two packs means I’m full until late afternoon, so that’s also awesome. Also while the second pack combines with the first pack, I like to say things like “emulsify” and pretend I’m a scientist, even though I know that it’s not really emulsifying. I don’t know what the term is for oatmeal expanding with water – probably expanding – but I like the word emulsify and I don’t get to use it often enough. I’m really cool.

So I look forward to my oatmeal ritual. And I look forward to oatmeal. Yes, the older I get, the more I know that feel, Calvin’s dad.

maybe I’ll build some character, too.

All this to say, the other day I forgot my lunch at home. Or we didn’t make lunches. One or the other. But I was short on cash and short on the will to go outside, so I decided to eat some oatmeal, since I skipped breakfast in lieu of second coffee. Solid fiscal decision! But something went horribly wrong with my water measuring, and it was still too soupy after two packs. So I thought, “why not add a third pack? I like oatmeal. Sure!”

What I ended up with was like 16 oz of oatmeal. And I are all of it. Halfway through I thought “fuck, this is too much oatmeal.” But I grew up in the Great Depression and I hate to see food go to waste, so I was determined to eat it all. My hands were shaking with the last spoonful, as the 16 oz of oatmeal seemingly expanded to 36 oz of deathmeal.

They say oatmeal makes a good breakfast because it “sticks to your ribs.” More like, it stuck to every blood cell I had. All afternoon, I felt like I was going to throw up. And drinking water to help push it all through only made me feel more like spewing.

After all the oat fueled trauma, I survived. It was about 7:30 that night before I was hungry again, but my stomach didn’t explode with an oatmeal alien like that dog’s stomach in Alien 3.  And uh, yeah, let’s not talk about all that fiber.

This morning, 3 days later, I made one packet of oatmeal. I used less water. It came out perfect. I nearly puked with flashbacks of oat-stomach, but I finished the serving. Take that, breakfast food.

So, Audrey: 1, Oatmeal: 0


Living on the edge: Sunday

I sat down to write about how I was completely useless today, but I actually was relatively productive. I mean, if you don’t count that 2.5 hours I was stuck to the couch, watching Teen Mom 2 and wandering in and out of a coma nap. I cleaned the kitchen, stripped the bed, caught up with my sister, conducted another clothes purge, showered, re-made the bed, picked out my work clothes for the week, and even did a bit on my paint by numbers.

Luckily, it was warm and dry this afternoon, so the sheets dried quickly.
Luckily, it was warm and dry this afternoon, so the sheets dried quickly.
I didn’t even have to do laundry (I did that yesterday) or make dinner (since I also did that yesterday).

Bolognese Party
One word can describe today: Riveting.

Tune in tomorrow – I’ll be organizing my socks.

Saturday: The good and the bad.

Saturday! Hooray!

I woke up this morning at about 6 AM, first because the entire right side of my body had fallen into a deep coma sleep and woke up with an intense pins and needles feeling when Joel lightly brushed me in his sleep. My second thought, after OMG I’M ON FIRE, was AW RIGHT IT’S SATURDAY LETS WAKE UP AND DO STUFF!

Of course, by ‘do stuff’ I meant, get my finger prints made to send off to the FBI for my identity check. Because, HOORAY, I was notified on Wednesday that my visa application was received, and that I was granted a bridging (temporary) visa that allows me to work full time while they’re processing/approving my partner visa. And they outlined my next steps for me, which are:

1. Get fingerprinted and submit the prints for an FBI Identity and Background check
2. Get a medical exam, chest x-ray, and HIV test (which makes my anti-discrimination senses prick up, but what can you do.)
3. Submit both reports
4. Wait for final word on my visa

A condition of the bridging visa is that I can’t leave the country while my partner visa is processing, unless I apply and pay for a separate travel visa. But you have to be in the country when they make the decision on your visa. And it’s a slim chance that it’ll happen, but if an interview was needed and I wasn’t here, it would be bad news. So the whole thing makes me too nervous. Looks like I’ll be sitting tight for the next 12-15 months. Which is a bit of a bummer, since I was day dreaming about Joel and me visiting the States for Thanksgiving next year. Grr.

Anywho, I left the house early, armed with my completed FBI forms and my FD-258 print card. I got the bus on time, made it to the station without getting lost, and I was the first in line! woohoo, I’ll be out so quick and home by 10:30, I thought! And that’s when I realized I forgot my self addressed, stamped envelope. Because I’d read online that I’d need a SASE and I’d written it down a bunch of times but of course I didn’t remember to do it. So I walked to 3 convenience stores, a grocery store, and finally to the office supply store, before I found envelopes that were the right size. It was only 5 or 6 blocks, but 5 or 6 blocks is a lot when you’re trying to get something done quickly.

So I get back to the station an hour later, and it takes about 20 minutes to get my prints done because they are done electronically now, and the sensors couldn’t get a decent image of any of the fingers on my right hand. All I could think was Could I be a right handed bandit? Getting away with shit because they can’t lift prints off my right hand? And then I thought that I shouldn’t be thinking of my future as a crime villain when I’m standing in a police station being finger printed by a cop and standing under a CCTV. I will say though, besides my shifty right hand, the staff and officers at City Central Police Station were really helpful and quick, so if you need finger prints and you’re in Sydney, hit them up.

After my walk about morning, I decided I’d stop at this cool looking restaurant for brunch. But all the tables were full and the menu was a bit too expensive for me, when all I wanted was banana bread with ricotta cheese and honey (my new obsession). So I changed my mind on brunch. But, as I was walking back to the bus, I passed a cafe called My Sweet Memory, which boasted coffee and stationery. Both of which are.my.jam. I walked in and the bakery case was full of pies and rolls and scrolls and yum, and they had banana bread. I asked the lady behind the register if they had ricotta cheese, and if I could have it on banana bread. She said yes. I went to pay for my order which was $8.50, took out my wallet and remembered I’d spent the last of my petty cash on Tuesday. And of course, they had a minimum card charge of $10. Instead of just saying, “sorry, Thanks though,” and walking away, I panicked under pressure and ordered a chocolate muffin to split with Joel later. I just realised now that I should have ordered a Nutella scroll. Fuck.

I went to the bathroom, since it was now close to 11:30 I’d had to pee for the last two hours, but someone was in there having a really unfortunate bowel issue. And she didn’t leave the entire time I was there. There wasn’t much stationery and what was there wasn’t interesting (besides a photo album that had a funny Japanese to English translation quote on it), which was really disappointing. I got my coffee, and it tasted like I made a bad choice. The banana bread didn’t come with ricotta, because they don’t have ricotta. It tasted good, but it was nothing to write home about. And they were playing some tragically bad 90’s R+B and easy listening over the loud speakers. And I still had to pee. Overall, a pretty lame brunch experience.

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Before I got on the bus, a very sad homeless man asked me for change, so I gave him the .60 or so cents I had. I felt good about that, but a little shitty that I couldn’t give him more, because I really, really, want to believe that he’d use it to buy a sandwich, and not meth.

I got home, about to burst, and put the clothes out to dry in the sun.

10 mins later, brought them back in because it was getting cloudy and blustery like it was about to rain.

10 mins after that, I put the clothes back out because it was sunny again.

20 minutes after that, it looked cloudy. I gave it some time, and they clouds cleared again and it was blazingly sunny.

5 minutes after that, I looked up and it was a bit grey.

2 mins after that, it was raining all over my clothes. DANG IT.

At the same time that I saw it was raining, I was on the phone with my US bank, trying to figure out why my credit card with a $0 balance and an expiration year of 2017 was declining a small purchase. Turns out the bank sent me a new credit card which would be active on July 1, and I didn’t get any notice of this new card beyond an email sent to me in April. I didn’t even receive the new credit card. The rep told me it was more than likely an address mix up (different address for primary and credit card accounts, long story) on their part, but there was nothing they could do to extend my “expired” card. Normally, it wouldn’t be a huge deal, except I put that credit card information down on my FBI forms as payment. 

I jumped off the phone with the bank since there wasn’t anything they could do and ran to bring the clothes in before they got soaked. And as I brought the clothes dryer in for the 800th time that day, it fell apart. Hello, last straw. So I had a minor moment of anger hysteria where I cried a bit and texted Joel and Leah an angry rant because I’m on a relatively tight time frame with the Identity check and just too many little things had gone wrong today.

Sometimes you just need to kick rocks for a bit. And swear at them. But, I got myself together, fixed the drying rack, sat by the heater and figured out 2 back up plans for the finger prints.

I feel better now, but I also feel like I could kill a bottle of red wine tonight.

Lessons Learned this Saturday:
1. ALWAYS check and double check your check list
2. Don’t order pastries under pressure.
3. DONT bring the clothes in until it starts to rain
4. Buy an electric dryer when move into your new place
5. ALWAYS read the emails your bank sends, even when they look like the blanket announcement emails that don’t involve you
6. STOP rushing. You mess up when you rush.

Alright, now I’m off to make bolognese. I hope I don’t cut my fingers off in the process.


Visa: the lodging



After 10 months of form filling, document acquiring, sorting, filing, collecting, copying, certifying, advising, nagging, collecting, copying, certifying, proofing, and double proofing, about $7,700 spent in applications and various administrative tasks, and various anxiety attacks and stern discussions, we finally finished my visa for partnership migration, and today I sent it to the Dept. of Immigration to be lodged.

I was excited and terrified to drop the application off at the post office today (registered, signature confirmation, express post – basically one step away from having a secret service member deliver it). My heart was racing and my hands were shaking as I wrote the address on the giant envelope. We’ve both been waiting so long for this day, and it seems unreal that it happened. And it’s going to be even weirder to sit in my study and not see the massive binder full of us staring back at me, and even weirder to not have “well, we need to save for the visa” trailing every monetary thought in my mind. If Joel hadn’t put in for half of it (THANK YOU), it would have been the second most expensive thing, after my car, that I’ve ever bought. Even then, it still stung the ol’ savings account. As Joel said, “Loving you is very expensive.” *

So now we play two waiting games. 1) Waiting for the confirmation letter from the Department of Immigration with all my bridging visa details, and 2) the 12-15 months it will take to process the encyclopaedia of Joel-Audrey (so many pages). And before anyone asks, no, it would not have been easier for us to “just get married.” We would have had to fill out the same huge amounts of paperwork and evidence, on top of the added pressure of getting married before either of us are ready just for the sake of a visa. Even I’m not that impulsive. Yeah, it would have saved us a few grand in application costs, but we probably would have spent that money on a wedding (and by that I mean flying my family over to our Australian JOP ceremony and McDonald’s reception).

It’s all done. I’m relieved, I’m scared, and I’m ever hopeful all at the same time. Actually, I think I’m so anxious, I’m ready to have a stroke. I love the life that Joel and I have created here. And I’m crossing every crossable appendage I have that we get to continue it.

*he has no idea.

Weekends, and the struggle of Doing Things

I’ve become one of those people who wakes up on Monday mornings with actualised grief over the weekend that’s passed. Setting my alarm clock on Sunday night fills my heart with a palpable sadness. And getting out of bed and readying myself for work is like trying to walk through drying cement. Thank God for Joel. The man gets out of bed, like consciously leaves the one warm place in our apartment, and bares the frozen tundra of the kitchen to make coffee and bring it back to me. It’s seriously the best part of my morning. And I’ll gladly do every chore in the house without complaint* for that morning coffee service. That’s how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning.

I don’t know what I’m complaining about, really. I have a nice commute (in the mornings at least, when it takes just about 35 mins to get to work), a job that’s low stress and staffed with cool folks (even an American who occasionally slips into her Minnesota nice every now and then and I get all “doncha know” in my head). The heat has been broken and we’ve been working in an ice castle since I started, but it’s really not that bad. Today, I got to write social media posts about Nicky Hilton’s wedding. /dreams

I think I just really like being home. I like being home so much that I want to be here all the time. But, I’m starting to become a shut in. It’s almost at the point where I don’t want to leave the house if it means putting on a bra and real people clothes. Even if it’s to run “important” errands, like grocery shopping so we don’t eat butter and onions and mustard and 14 week old white wine for dinner (this might be the contents of our fridge right now).

Anytime I’m not at home, in sweatpants, working on some sort of project is kind of the worst thing ever. And that’s why weekends are beautiful: two and a half days of sweat pants and projects hang times. Weekend free time is like a precious commodity, like fossil fuels or pizza, and wasting it on traffic or crowds or errands is like setting barrels of oil on fire… a barrel full of oil and deep dish Meat Lovers pizza. /horror

Adding to the precious fragility of the weekend, Joel’s days off are Saturday and Tuesday, and Tuesdays are more often than not the days he works in the studio with his friend Aaron. So we only have one day off together, and it happens to be on the day we’re both trying to decompress from the week. So that makes wanting to Do Things even harder.

After all, Doing Things takes a lot of effort. You know, Doing Things – Things that you Do outside of your home that show everyone that you’re “living life to the fullest.” And by Friday, our effort is tapped and we’re ready to just not Do Things. So we stay in. Which isn’t to say that staying in is a bad thing, because I love hanging out with Joel. And the novelty of seeing him everyday is likely to never wear off — the side effect of other-side-of-the-world-distance dating. Staying in with him means good food, good movies, good conversation, laughing at shit on the internet, and staying pretty cozy. And it helps to stay in, because we’re trying to save as much money as possible. So apart from an occasional pizza or Chinese food picnic, there’s not a lot of money left to Do Things — things like going out to bars and dinners out and road trips and weekend holidays. We might not do much, but what we do do makes me so happy that I rarely ever want to leave home. And that says something.

But sometimes, I do miss Doing Things. And so does Joel. So we’ve been trying to get out more to Do Things, so that maybe we don’t start to mold over. This weekend, Doing Things meant waking up a bit early and heading out to the Rozelle Markets, which is a small flea market that’s about a 15 minute walk from our apartment. I love the Markets, because I love old junk, but it’s also torturous to me because my shopaholic sponsor Joel has to reign me in at every table. It’s a lot like how, as kids, I dragged behind my mom at antique stores and yard sales and thrift stores, saying “we don’t need that.” Wow, it’s exactly like that.

You are becoming your mother.

Anyway, we walked through the markets and browsed some good shit, and some not so good shit. I found a set of 6 Simpsons themed glass Nutella jars, but there was only one good cartoon and the glasses were caked with suspicious dirt and stains. I also found a pair of bright gold painted Doc Martens, a handmade desk cubby, a glass tray with a pressed flower design and wooden edging, antique silver and jewelry, old maps, and and and and… Needless to say, if I had been by myself, I would have been in trouble.

Good ol' Rod
Good ol’ Rod

Somewhere in the morning, while we were finishing a movie about a kid in art school, we decided we wanted to do a paint by numbers. So after the Markets, we walked to two different stores we thought would carry them, but came up nothing. But we did come up with the idea to buy fun straws and drink creaming soda floats, which we did find the supplies for. And we passed a lot of smug, fatty dogs, which makes any day better.

photo (1)


When we got home, it was still early in the afternoon, but the day felt empty. I started to clean the kitchen, but neither of us could get the thought of paint by numbers out of our head. I knew the craft store in the city carried them. And the craft store was right by the bus stop. So the whole trip could take me 45 minutes if I was quick. But, going to the city on my day off, for an errand, is No. 1 on Things to Not Do on Weekends. I go to the city and deal with crowds 5x a week, I’m over it. But, the more I cleaned, the more the want for paint by numbers turned into a need. And before I knew it, it went from need to if I don’t get this my weekend will be ruined. And once I get into that obsessive state of mind, all rules and plans and schedules are thrown to the side.

Joel tried to assure me that we didn’t need Paint by numbers, but he’s only slowly getting introduced to my sporadic bursts of obsession- like that time I drove for over an hour and went to 4 different stores looking for a copy of Twilight because I just needed to have it for my lazy day (no judgement, I was sad). Or when I did the same thing, except looking for salmon colored sheets and season 3 of The Hills (I said no judging – I like shitty TV) that I couldn’t live or finish cleaning my house without. Or how in 3 hours, I had a shelf system designed and customized, supplies to build said shelf purchased, and my dad pulled away from one of his master’s thesis study days to install it. It’s this kind of dogged determinedness that makes me think I could actually be successful one day. But that’s a story for another blog.

So off I went to get Paint by Numbers. And I was successful.

I got back to the bus stop, and realised I was going to finish this trip up in an hour, which is what I wanted. My bus wasn’t due to arrive for 15 minutes, and in that 15 minutes I got wrapped up in a text rant to my mom. When the bus came up, I got on, texting away, being that person I hate. And when the bus started moving and I finally looked up, I realized I was on the wrong bus. Aw crap. Auto pilot fail.

A $21 dollar cab ride later (I confused the driver and we went the long way, another auto pilot fail), I was home, a little bitter at myself, but still victorious. We had our paint by numbers. And we had pulled chicken sandwiches, and Ben Affleck in The Town. And later we had our creaming soda floats with the fun straws. And we had a good afternoon, after our morning of Doing Things.

Joel wanted something "with a house, a river, preferably a mountain." Congrats, because you got the hardest PB# ever, Joel.
Joel wanted something “with a house, a river, preferably with a mountain.” Congrats, because you got the hardest PB# ever, Joel.
I wanted a PB# that I could mount on a sheet of black velvet. So I chose a majestic lion.
I wanted a PB# that I could mount on a sheet of black velvet. So I chose a majestic lion.
An artist prepares
An artist prepares
mine, two hours later. WHY DO THEY TAKE SO LONG
mine, two hours later. WHY DO THEY TAKE SO LONG
2 ish hours later. Did you know how detailed paint by numbers are? We forgot.
2 ish hours later. Did you know how detailed paint by numbers are? We forgot.
yummm. Creaming soda tastes like vanilla + tarot root and looks like cherry ginger ale and is my new favorite.
yummm. Creaming soda tastes like vanilla + tarot root and looks like cherry ginger ale and is my new favorite. Also, totes hip with the straws and the vintage glassware and our paint by numbers. We’re really cool here. 
And then... There was the final review of my visa. insert wide eye emoji here.
And after our backs and eyes gave out over the PB#… there was the final review of my visa.     insert wide eye emoji here.
And there was more painting while we waited for dinner. PB# - addictive.
But some of us couldn’t stop painting. PB# – addictive.
And then there was demolishing of the cookie cake I made for Joel to celebrate him making his bonus this year. Hooray!
And then there was demolishing of the cookie cake I made for Joel to celebrate him making his bonus this year. Hooray!

It was a good Saturday, with the right amount of Doing Things and Not Doing Things and unintentional cabbie adventures. It even inspired me to go back to the city so I could get a couple of things to finish of the boxes I’m sending to my family.

Oh you know, just 2014's Christmas presents and 2015's birthday/anniversary presents. July is better than never, right? I think Santa Amazon will do the delivering this year.
Oh you know, just 2014’s Christmas presents and 2015’s birthday/anniversary presents. July is better than never, right? I think Santa Amazon will do the delivering this year.

And before I knew it, it was time to get in bed and set my alarm for work, again. My life. The eternal struggle of Wanting to Do Things and Wanting to Not Do Things.

I’ll just keep reminding myself that in 2 weeks, I have a 3 day weekend. There should be a 3 day weekend every 2 weeks. Jus sayin.

I hope your weekends are so good you also don’t want to leave home!

Independence Day!

I love my country. My rambling drunk girl at a party of a country. I don’t always like Independence Day, though, because it’s always on the swampiest day of summer, and hanging around sweaty, drunk ‘Mericans rarely comes through on the promise of awesome that it implies.

I spent my last 4th of July in the States alternately taking care of my sick mom, grilling and watching war movies with my dad, and making a baby quilt for my nephew, who was due in mid-July. It was great, as I haven’t always been big on celebrating. In and around my college years, the 4th of July weekend was yet another reason to get Star Spangled Hammered for 2 days straight. But, for the last 5 years or so, I almost always had either an injury or house sitting gigs that kept me in the comfort of my own air conditioning, not getting eaten by mosquitoes and hornets. And it was awesome, because humidity sucks and some of us don’t like sweating and sunburn and getting heat stroke. Also, being hungover at work on July 5th is terrible.

But I have to admit, seeing the pics of everyone dressed in their red white and blue, and their cook outs and their hanging out in grassy back yards, grilling and drinking cold beers and wearing shorts and flip flops pulled at the ol’ nostalgia strings in my heart. Especially as I put on another layer of clothing and turned the space heater up a notch. For a hot minute, I actually missed the stupidly hot days of an East Coast summer, and all my drunk ‘Mericans.

But then, I remember how I’m a fan of not sweating through my clothing, and I felt much happier with a winter 4th. I gladly put the heater up on full power and relished my mosquito bite free skin. Ahhhhh.

We paid tribute to my forefathers in the Continental Congress by drinking American beer, devouring bacon cheeseburgers with American style bacon, watching Mark Whalberg movies, and getting down on some Red White & Blue cobbler while sitting under a blanket and huddling around the space heater. It was awesome.

Every day should start with Nutella-banana scrolls.
Every day should start with coffee and Nutella-banana scrolls (basically a cinnamon roll with mashed banana instead of cinnamon, topped with Nutella. Fucking delicious.)
Joel put up a flag to celebrate.
Joel put up a flag to celebrate. “I feel like we live in American History X now.”
Someone lost his prescription sunglasses.
Someone couldn’t find his prescription sunglasses.
Fuzzy leopard print boat shoes? America.
Fuzzy leopard print boat shoes? America. Specifically, New Jersey. Or Texas.
Freedom Happy Hour in the hour or two that it was warm enough to sit outside.

There are three different liquor stores, or “bottle shops” close to our apartment. At these three different stores, 4 different American beers can be found: PBR, Sam Adams, Budweiser, and MGD. I was going to get some MGD for Joel, who requested it, which meant I had to make a special trip to the bottle shop furthest from us. As I grabbed cash from my wallet, I thought, “Should I bring my ID? Nah.” Fun fact, I’ve been here for 10 months, and I haven’t been asked for ID once when buying booze. However, yesterday, I was carded when I tried to buy some shitty American beer. I thought about trying to talk them into it, trying to convince them that I just left my ID at home and I promise I’m 30, but I didn’t want to add more layers of sadness by begging for them to sell me MGD. I sulked out of there, happy for once that I didn’t add insult to hobo injury by wearing sweat pants in public. Clearly, Sam Adams won out.

photo (4)
“streaky” bacon.
We don't have a grill yet, but we have a stove, and Burger Master Joel, which is the next best thing.
We don’t have a grill yet, but we have a stove, and Burger Master Joel, which is the next best thing.
the Yum Helm
the Yum Helm
Life changing burger. I wish I was still eating it.
Life changing burger. I wish I was still eating it.
Cobbler town! I got a little carried away with the whipped cream, so these were basically bowls of diabetes
Cobbler town! I got a little carried away with the whipped cream, so these were basically bowls of diabetes

My first wintery Independence Day among countrymen who are still in cahoots with the monarchy we told to piss off was a grand success. We didn’t have fireworks (which was a first) but Jesus, Freedom, and America was felt from sun up to sun down. And I think we’re both diabetic as a result.

Hope everyone had fun endlessly sweating! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get another sweater.