17 Movies that Broke My Life

This morning, my mom tagged me in a buzzfeed post about 27 movies that will ruin your life. I agreed with most of the list, and even had some of the same experiences as some of the contributors. But it got me thinking… movies have ruined my life. I’ve been scared out of my mind, emotionally damaged, and scarred for life. I’m 31 years old, and these movies still get me unwound.

  1. Child’s Play – When I was 8, my brother Josh’s friend gave him a tape with all 3 Child’s Play movies recorded on it. I wanted to watch it, because I wanted to do everything my brother did, but my mom said I was too young and Josh said I couldn’t hang out with him and his friends anyway. So, being the determined youth that I was, I snuck the tape out of the house and over to my friend Jamie’s, where we watched all 3 movies in a row without her parents knowing. Bad Idea. From the second I got home, I put all my dolls under my bed, including the very expensive toddler sized doll I had spent months begging my parents for. Then I got I scared that the dolls would come after me, so I put them all up on my dresser so I could see when they would attack. My mom wanted to send the dolls to my cousins, but I told her no, because I was sure the doll would kill the post man, find its way back to my house, climb up the car port, come through my window, and kill me. So I just treated it very respectfully, and slept with my light on for 4 years, keeping an eye on it. No one could convince me that the doll wasn’t going to come to life and murder me. And to this day, I can’t sleep in a room if there’s a doll in it. And being chased by Chucky is my #1 recurring nightmare*.
  2. Trilogy of Terror – Also when I was 7 or 8, Josh had a “scary movie birthday party”, and all his friends slept over while they had a horror movie marathon. I wasn’t allowed downstairs (Oh the injustices served to me as a child), but I did sneak down a little to see what was happening. They were watching Trilogy of Terror, the vignette with the voo-doo doll. The moment that I snuck down, there was a scene with a guy in a bathroom. He was standing in front of a drawn shower curtain. IN A SECOND the shower curtain was drawn back and a voodoo doll jumped out and stabbed the guy to death. I ran back to my room, shaking. And I was about 18 before I could use a bathroom without drawing the shower curtain back first to check for voo-doo dolls.
  3. Psycho – When I was 10, I watched a documentary on Psycho. I didn’t watch the movie itself. But I loved learning about crazy people, and I wanted to know just how crazy Norman Bates was. And then they came to the shower scene. They showed the whole thing. For the next year, I would only take baths, not showers. And even then, I refused to take showers unless there was a see-through shower curtain. I won’t take a shower if I’m in a hotel room by myself. Two years ago, when I moved into the condo, I had to get a clear shower curtain because I was too scared someone would come in and stab me.

    This Bloom County comic kept me awake at night.
  4. Garfield Halloween – omg. When we lived in Germany, my parents would tape American cartoons for us off the Armed Forces Network. And one tape we had was full of Garfield cartoon specials. Garfield on the Town was followed by Garfield Halloween. But, because they were home recorded, Garfield on the Town‘s end credits were abruptly cut off with the opening for Garfield Halloween, and the opening for Garfield Halloween was an extreme close up of Binky the Clown screaming “HEEEEEEEY KIDDDDDDDDDS!” It was so startling to go from happy credits to GIANT SCREAMING CLOWN FACE. If I’m in a dark room by myself and I think about it, I feel terrified – to this day. Also, I don’t know what the producers were thinking, but the old man telling the story of the pirates was creepy as fuck. And the pirates were pretty scary. That whole thing wasn’t for children. And for YEARS, I wouldn’t sleep with my back to the open room because I had a nightmare that Garfield and the ghost pirates were sneaking up on me.
  5. It – Is there anyone in my generation and every generation proceeding that isn’t traumatized by It? I also read the book when I was 10 (behind my mom’s back, of course), and I was more scared because in the book, It tried to rape Bevy. So while I was scared of clowns before I saw It (thanks to Garfield Halloween), because they were loud and scary, It just added a whole new level of rapey-gonna-eat-you fear. I will never shower in a group shower situation and I always tip toe around storm drains because of that movie. Ughhhh.
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street – When I was really little, I caught about 5 minutes of “Freddy’s Nightmares“, the series that Freddy had on MTV where he introduced music videos and they showed clips from the movies. Freddy was sitting on a stool in the boiler room, all Freddied out, and he introduced a clip from the first movie – where Johnny Depp gets sucked into the bed. I was too scared to sleep in a big bed by myself for years after that. Also, pretty sure that Freddy is the scariest movie villain. The 3rd movie scares me to this day.
  7. 2001: A Space Odyssey – yeah. I can’t watch Dave’s final two sequences if I’m by myself. And I’m pretty sure that the star child is the most unsettling image I’ve ever seen. Even hearing the orchestration makes me scared. Also, the humans in monkey suits are creepy. And the Swedish choir with their shrill and guttural cries that sounds like what I imagine is what you hear when you’re in purgatory. *shudder*
  8. Pet Semetary – Because of Gage under the bed, I get in and out of bed as quickly as possible. No lingering with my feet hanging over the edge, either. Nuuuuuupe. And the demented sister? YIKES.
  9. Poltergeist – I can’t be in the same room if there’s a TV on a static channel. It scares the shit out of me.
  10. The Exorcist – If I’m in a strange bed, or feeling uneasy in a room, I’ll think of Regan on the shaking bed, and I won’t be able to sleep. When I moved into the condo, I posted a picture of my first night in. I was so jazzed to be on my own and to spend the night all by myself, unpacking and arranging. And then my friend Paul said “That looks like the stairwell from the exorcist.” And he posted a clip of Regan’s spider walk. And in that split instant my mood changed from “YAY NEW HOUSE” to “I’m going to die here.” And for the next two months, I swore I heard “rats” in the ceiling, saw that weird ghost face (that they added to the re-mastered edition) in the windows at night, and just about pooped myself whenever I saw Bill Purray staring off intently at NOTHING. And for the record, I don’t think I’ve seen anything scarier than Regan’s spider walk down the stairs. Just thinking about it makes me uncomfortable.
  11. Ghostbusters – The opening sequence. NOOOOOPE. And the face on the Stay Puft Marshmallow man? So scary. My parents had Ghostbusters taped onto an audio cassette, and we’d “listen” to the movie on road trips. You know what’s actually pretty scary? The soundtrack to Ghostbusters. Especially when the ghosts are released and the ground starts to break apart and later when Stay Puft is screaming. Creepy.

Somewhere along the way, I grew up and movies stopped scaring me. And that was a bummer. But to fill that hole of emotional scarring, I started to become a mess whenever there was a slightly sad or moving tone. I used to make fun of my mom for crying at everything. Now, I cry at everything. But these movies hit me right in the feels.

  1. She’s Having a Baby – During the climax, Kevin Bacon’s character has a montage of memories while his wife is having an emergency c-section, and he gets so flustered because he’s finally realising how his life is going to change and he hasn’t wanted it before but now he doesn’t want to lose it and he looks up into the light and chokes back tears right as the song crescendos. Shit. I lose it. And the montage is set to the music of “This woman’s work,” and it breaks me down to sobs whenever I watch it. Sobs. Hysterical sobs and ugly crying. Guaranteed.
  2. Lost in Translation – The end… when Bill Murray is whispering into Scarlett Johanson’s ear and you never find out what he says, but she’s tearing up, and he’s softly touching her and… oh man. The affection and the loneliness is palpable. It cuts me open.
  3. Philadelphia – it’s hard to find a scene in this movie that doesn’t rip my heart out. But when Tom Hanks leaves Denzel’s office and he knows he’s run out of options, and he’s just staring into the street with that pained look, somewhere between “what do I do now” and utter tears, and Bruce Springsteen is playing. It’s so sad. I really just sit through Philadelphia and just cry. It’s a great movie to watch if you’re stuffed up and need to blow your nose a lot.
  4. The Land Before Time – When Littlefoot’s mother dies, it feels like my mom has died. And all those baby dinosaurs clinging together because they don’t have families… I’m a mess for hours after watching it.
  5. Home Alone – when Kevin realises he misses his family, and his mom is missing him. Sad tears. And at the end, when they’re all reunited! Happy Tears. All the tears. Hearing that soundtrack makes my heart swell.
  6. Forrest Gump – “I miss you Jenny. If there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.” Just typing that made me cry.

So now I’m off to watch Dance Moms and Teen Mom ad nasueum because this list is making me cry and making me scared to be home alone.

Swift, but not Taylor

I’m not always the swiftest fox in the bunch.

Aw. Shows I miss for $500, Alex.

Sure, I can put furniture together like an engineer; I can get through James Joyce without a struggle; I can make a valid argument of post-modern failure from The Adventures of Pete and Pete; I’m a fantastic speller; I’m very good with cause and effect in all aspects of my life (Note; I am good at acknowledging and understanding that if I do that, then this will happen, even before I do this. I just cannot convince myself not to do this when this is faster/more efficient/etc because I have an impulse control problem); and I understand how to use semi-colons (rule 2: use to separate items in a list). But there are times when I’m just a bag of rocks. And yesterday was a doozy.

First, I woke up, and decided that my 2 days unwashed hair was totes appropriate for an office setting, even though I knew it wasn’t, but I really wanted to sleep for 20 more minutes. #1

Then I saw that it was cloudy. And not just cloudy with sun poking out so you know it won’t rain, but cloudy as in, it will rain in half an hour cloudy. I saw this and decided to wear a skirt, with stockings, and a pair of flats that were basically fabric glued to a thin piece of rubber. #2

Then, I wore a fake leather jacket instead of a rain coat, even though I knew it would rain and I didn’t have an umbrella, because the fake leather jacket matched better. #3

Next, I forgot my lunch, which was bad because I’m scraping pennies together at this point. I realized I forgot my lunch when I was half way down the stairs, but I was too lazy to back to get it. #4

Also, I looked at my boss’ outlook calendar (called a “diary” here) and I said she couldn’t do something because she’d be in Canberra. Except she’d be in Canberra on Wednesday, and I was looking at Tuesday, and she was asking about something she could do today, which was Monday. I did this twice. #5

After, I went to lunch. It was dark and cloudy. Decided I’d be able to make it a block and a half to Subway without an umbrella. Ended up buying an umbrella because there was a torrential downpour when I left Subway. #6

Then, I got back from lunch, put my phone on the desk, and went to the bathroom. Came back from the bathroom and thought “Where is my phone?” I looked all over my desk, didn’t see it. Almost freaked out, and then saw it right in front of me. #7

Later, I was trying to hail a cab, in the rain, and found one coming my way. I signaled him, with all my Carrie Bradshaw fury, and he pulled in and stopped in front of me. I ran out, and opened the door. The woman inside the cab looked HORRIFIED and then I looked HORRIFIED as I said sorry and closed the door and ran back to the sidewalk. I hadn’t even seen that his light wasn’t on. Or that he had gotten into the turn lane, which was right in front of me. Mortified doesn’t even cover it. #8

Then, I decided that the best place to wait for my GoCatch cab was a dark street where no less than 6 methy looking strangers passed me. #9

Next, I was at our friend Aaron’s for a work meeting. Joel sent me a text that there was a storm coming. “Oh it’ll be ok,” I thought. at 8:15, I thought “maybe I should get home, it is coming down harder.” at 8:30, it was hailing and raining so hard we couldn’t hear ourselves talk anymore. “Oh, it’ll clear up soon. Storms don’t last long.” 45 minutes later, it was finally safe to leave. Holy crap. Then, the Anzac bridge was flooded, and it took an hour for us to get over it. I fell asleep in the cab twice in that hour. It was 10PM and $65 later before I got home. #10

Thankfully, that’s where the idiot day stopped. I came home, frozen and drenched, put on sweats (that Joel had ready and waiting for me), ate pasta (that he also made and had waiting for me), and fell into a sleep coma.

Sheeit, man. Some days.


Needs vs Wants

If there is one lesson that I’ve learned time and time again, it’s that buying things won’t make me long term happy. 90% of those impulse, gotta have items typically end up in the donate pile within a years time, either due to lack of use or I just grew out of it, or I simply forgot about it because of all the other things I have or bought shortly after because I was convinced making said purchase would change my life.

So if I have demonstrated proof that I can’t buy my happiness, why then, do I have this obsessive yearning for things, things, things. As of right now, the following are crowding up my Wants:

  • new mattress cover and sleeping pillows
  • lightweight summer blanket
  • stand mixer with defined speeds and detachable paddles
  • new staples for my summer clothes
  • new staples for my work clothes
  • like those green pants that are 30% off right now
  • or that red high waist skirt with pockets that’s 70% off right now
  • new sofa
  • sewing machine
  • calligraphy pens
  • that perfect shade of orange cotton bed sheets
  • storage unit for the study
  • that golden piggy bank I saw in the MCA gift shop
  • real baking fit out: mixing bowls, spatulas, wire cookie cooling rack and flat baking sheets
  • everything from here
  • and here
  • and here
  • and of course, here
  • this foot stool
  • 2 inch curling rod or 2 inch flat iron
  • goldenrod colored throw blanket
  • new cutting boards
  • blender
  • these salt and pepper shakers (I have these back in the States, but they’re packed away with all my kitchen stuff)
  • all the glade cinnamon apple candles (all of them. I am obsessed)

Ok, so some of those are more frivolous than others. But you get my drift.

It’s disturbing how many of my thoughts trail back to “oh, I’ll just buy ____ and that’ll be AWESOME.” even though I know buying that will only lead to guilt, anxiety, feelings of shame, and getting to 10 days before payday and I only having $30 in my bank account.

In the Needs category, however, I have the following pawing at me:

  • rent
  • groceries
  • transportation funds
  • student loans (oh how I can’t wait for the Australian dollar to get stronger)
  • utilities
  • deodorant that doesn’t smell like ripe celery the moment I get slightly sweaty (whoooaaa did I make a bad purchase)
  • internet (priorities)

So, yeah. And after going over September’s allotted budget today, it looks like those Wants are going to be well, wanting, for a little while longer. I’ve read about people who go a whole month without making an unnecessary purchase. I know that saying “I’ll not do this / I will do this” for a whole month just sets me up for failure, but maybe I’ll take it a week at a time. Or maybe I’ll give myself like $40 in “do whatever you want” cash. I’m interested in trying it, because I’m definitely interested in training myself out of wanting things all the goddamn time.

How about it? Has anyone been successful in not spending unnecessary money for a month?

Hodge Podge: Wednesday

  • All I can think about lately is list making. Grocery lists, clothing lists, goal lists, project lists. I think I like making lists, timelines, and action items more than I like achieving list/goal/project completion. I get all hyped up with preparation, but then I take a nap and forget about it. That being said, I did make a list of summer goals that I’d like to actually do by the time summer gets here… which is in like month!
  • Speaking of summer, I’ve actually been looking forward to it. Not that it’s been so cold here that I’m missing warm weather – quite the opposite. It’s only ever gotten on the verge of super cold, never frosty, never icy. And most afternoons I can walk around without a coat. If it snowed and gave me some days off from work, it’d be the perfect winter.
  • I want to go to the beach. I don’t care if it’s cold.
  • I have a few baking projects milling around in my mind. And fun projects I want to do. Of course, disposable income is always at its lowest when I’m at my most inspired.
  • Watching The Wedding Singer. I think it’s the first movie that made me love Steve Buscemi. Of course, I think it was the first movie I saw him in. I was only 14 when it came out, and too young for Fargo and Reservoir Dogs. 

  • Thanks to the Facebook Memories app, I saw that 5 years ago today I posted
Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 9.58.48 PM
And it’s still true, 6 years later.
  • I think my beloved slipper boots are losing a battle against time. I’m dying inside.
photo (5)
just one of about 4 holes. Sigh.

Hope everyone has a good Wednesday!


This weekend, I aged.

photo (4)

On Thursday, Joel took me out to this fantastic restaurant with American style hamburgers and infamous beer, and I suddenly was ill and could barely finish the burger. Or eat the birthday sundaes I had planned. Womp womp. But, all was not lost. Joel got me some badass gifts, nursed me back to health, and we watched The Big Lebowski as I tried not to vomit up all the contents of my stomach. Happy Birthday!

Thank you, Joel! Not pictured, digital scale for more accurate baking - YES!
Thank you, Joel! Not pictured, digital scale for more accurate baking – YES!

The next day, though, I was off work and feeling better, so we went for a hike in a national park near Heathcoate. I almost threw up 4 different times when we trekked back uphill, but it was hella fun (saying that I am embarrassingly out of shape is an understatement). I took the old Nikon that used to belong to my Grandpa with me, and Joel taught me how to use it. Felt reeeeal fancy to be using a film camera with manual everything – I even got to use a light meter! I only took pictures from the pools, not from the hike (because I was either on the look out for snakes or enduring cardiac arrest), but rest assured, it was awesome. Nature!

DSCF2230 DSCF2229 DSCF2231

IMG_4638DSCF2233 DSCF2234 DSCF2239

Best camera strap, ever. I can’t wait to see how the photos turns out!


mid-heart attack
mid-heart attack

Then we came home for chills and some Punch Drunk Fry-day.

Joel is the best schnitzel-er I've ever met.
Joel is the best schnitzel-er I’ve ever met.

On Saturday, I woke up ill again, but manned up for lunch with Joel’s family at an adorable Italian place that was filled with New Jersey looking residents – so much big hair, gold jewelry, and big eye make up. I ate my weight in bacon pasta and cheesecake, and was spoiled with more presents.

Joel's mom brought champagne and wine, and I wasn't able to drink. Thank you, antibiotics.
Joel’s mom brought champagne and wine, and I wasn’t able to drink. Thank you, antibiotics.

IMG_4686 IMG_4685 IMG_4687



We got home, and I passed out on the couch for a few hours, woke up later, and spent the rest of the night dead on the couch watching movies. Bladder infection + endometriosis pains = moving as little as possible.

Today, fueled by antibiotics and pain killers, I managed to clean EVERYTHING and make dinner while listening to shitty American TV in the background and catching up with my sister for about 2 hours. However, I’m paying for that tirade of productivity now, as my back feels like someone took an ax to it.

Joel’s mum got me this note pad/attached pen set. I love list making and achievement tracking. /nerd (btw, nails are done and dinner has been made since I took this photo, making the list completely done. hooray!)

Now it’s time for Netflix and Chill with Joel, and trying not to think about going back to work tomorrow. Ah, well. On the bright side, though, it looks like 31 is going to be a fantastic year 🙂

Happy Sunday, everyone!

30: The Final Report

I’ve gotta say. 30 wasn’t nearly as bad as all those Cathy comics led me to believe it would be.

Most of my 20’s felt like this:

Amazing life experiences, and heaps of anecdotes, but not much to show for it. 30 was the first year I felt like an adult. I took control of my finances, moved overseas, made a home with someone, got a job in the creative field, and made major strides in curbing my bad habits.

It’s not that I’ve never lived on my own before. I moved out of my parents house technically 4 times, if you count my freshman year of college when I “lived” in New York. But I always moved back in with my parents in between living situations so I could get back on my feet. So it always felt like I was stuck in first gear — chronologically an adult but still depending on my mom to buy groceries, or wondering how I’d fit all my things into my one bedroom, or sneaking in drunk at 4 in the morning without waking them up. Living with my parents allowed me to pay off my car and my credit cards MUCH sooner than it would be if I was living on my own, but it was easy to feel like a teenager. A teenager who worked full time and paid bills, but a teenager nonetheless.

This year, though, I moved out — waaaay out — and I’ve felt more responsible for myself than I have in just about, ever. And I learned a new feeling of independence. Independence isn’t just being able to pay your bills and your rent. It’s about creating your own life. What you want from your career, your relationship, your home, your eating habits, your health, your friends, your kids, your traditions, etc. I feel like, at 30, I finally started shaping my life, instead of living as an extension of my family. I think that was most apparent on Thanksgiving, when my mom wasn’t here to cook a big dinner, and I was completely lost, or not seeing my folks on Christmas morning and feeling such a void in the day. I’ve spent so many years tightly wrapped up in the way my family does things that I forgot that Joel and I get to make our own traditions now. Because he’s part of my family now. And we’re shaping our life together, making our own family. And that’s pretty awesome.

So, in a nutshell, 30 was great, and liberating in a way I wasn’t expecting. And I didn’t wake up with saggy skin and white hair. But I am scandalized by the way young women dress, 3 drinks will give me a hangover, and I contemplate buying wrinkle cream for my neck almost daily. What can you do?

I’m looking forward to aging. Even if it is a seemingly accelerated pace. If 30 was any indication, 31 is going to be a lot like this:

3 Years Ago Today

This morning was rough. I woke up early for more annoying phone calls about my finger prints, and Joel and I had a snit over a miscommunication, so I stormed out with barely a good bye, which I don’t do, and I proceeded to stew and growl all the way to work.

Work was super busy, which didn’t help my shitty “I don’t care” attitude. Joel and I made up over text later in the morning, but I was just over the whole day. And while I was on the bus ride home, after the longest day in the history of ever finally concluded, time hop reminded me of this:

And I was all heart eyes and awwwww.

I remember it as clear as day: unemployed, no real money to speak of, living with my parents, drunk, chatting with Odie. I decided in a split second that I wanted to visit. I suggested New Year’s. He said YES. I looked up tickets. And after 40 minutes, I had my credit card reservation and my Australian holiday visa sitting in my email. That’s how I roll.

I thought I was just going on a holiday. I hadn’t really spent more than 48 hours with Odie, ever, and I was about to spend 16 days with him. I didn’t know that I’d have one of the best trips of my entire life. And I didn’t know I’d make a new friend who I would eventually realise was my missing piece. And I sure as hell didn’t know that 3 years later, I’d be living there, dealing with visas.

That split decision changed my life. And I had no idea it would even happen.

I saw that post, and I thought, even on shit days, I’d still rather be here than anywhere else. So thank you, Drunk Destiny. You put me right where I need to be.

It didn't hurt to come home to some particularly awesome presents.
It didn’t hurt to come home to some particularly awesome presents.

Just goes to show you, nothing bad will ever happen to you if spend your money recklessly and live your life with no expectation of success or adulthood. Ever*.

*And it definitely won’t make you move back in with your parents 3 times so you can pay off your bills. It definitely won’t.


This weekend went by in a blink.

First, Friday night was filled with making about 100 sub-par cookies, catching up on True Detective and decompressing Joel from a hard day at work. Then, we were in bed by like, 9:05 PM because we’re completely out of control (and I had to be awake at 5 AM to call and check on my finger prints). I tried to go to sleep but ended up staying awake til 2 AM falling down a Google hole that started with researching day planners and ended with facts about Princess Diana. Like I said, out of control.

On Saturday morning, Joel and I were at the post office at 9:30 AM sharp to collect the boxes of presents that my parents sent us. To be clear on how awesome my parents are, sometime in May, I asked my mom if she could send me my leather jacket and my favorite pair of boots. A couple weeks later, I watched heaps of Downton Abbey and I asked if I could have one of her silver trays for when Joel and I have tea. Annnnd I might have asked for Swiss Miss and some Lipton Iced Tea bags and some yankee candles. All of that could have fit in a small box, and I would have been really excited. BUT, they decided to spoil the shit out of us instead. Because they’re wonderful. Also, because they’d been saving stuff to send me since… Easter? (judging by the Reester Eggs and Easter candy). They’re awesome.

The post office staff thinks we have triplets.
Counter top 1 of 2: After obsessively sorting everything into categories… lotions and cupcake cups and lobster rammekens and dino sippy cups and clothes and towels and candy and aprons and wall decals and and and and…
so many snacks. And even microwave bacon! haha. It’s been over a year since I’d had flavored coffee creamer. I had a cup with hazelnut and it was delicious and my stomach promptly exploded from all the sugar. And I remembered why I stopped putting them in my coffee.  Ah, memories.
blog and you shall receive! My mom’s best friend sent me socks (and made sure my boxes made it to the post office!)
Someone has never had Girl Scout cookies before. Someone is in for a treat.
I was wondering why they stuffed a Mr. Bill doll into the box. But, as my mom explained, our dogs Lucy and Ellie and my cat Bill Purray all played with this guy. And it’s to remind me of my fur babies and be my “Bill until you can see your Bill again.” awww
Say hello to my new favorite apron. And my super sweet hair. What even is that?

Some of the big gems they sent:

these fantastic day of the week towels. Mom’s friend did all the embroidery and edging, and they’re so campy and amazing.
yay! now we can be super high class when we drink pink milk and eat cookies.
Some of my favorite antique linen! On the left: vanity runners, and sailor place mats, and on the right: Mexican pillow cases. So good.

It was overwhelming to open everything and to feel all the feels. And it’s also nice to look at the silver tray and think of my mom. Thanks again!!

Later on Saturday, we got to spend quality time with the Family Nye, which is Joel’s friend Craig, his wife, Jen, and their little ones Henri and Amelie. Craig and Jen are hilarious and chill, and their kids are so cute they made my ovaries explode.

Little Henri is becoming quite the photographer. He spent the whole afternoon teaching me how to turn the camera on and off, how to turn the flash off, and how to review his photos. I was dying from cute.

We saw a good exhibit on the banality of suburban life at the Museum of Contemporary Art:

the cover of our spoken word album.
meee tooo

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And then we ate delicious burgers and Henri and I shared secrets about how we like to eat snacks when everyone’s asleep. He’s my new best friend.

It was a big, full, day, and OH I FORGOT THE BEST PART – before we met up with the Nyes, I relived some Oktoberfest action with Joel:

mmm German sausage, grilled onion, sauerkraut action
mmm German sausage, grilled onion, sauerkraut action

I got half the mustard and bbq sauce on me, instead of in me, but it was worth it.

Sunday morning, Joel went back to work, and I had a little writing assignment. Then I was super domestic, cleaning house, doing laundry, going grocery shopping. And then I passed a display of hair dye on sale, and was very suddenly sick of looking at my mousey brown hair with all my greys coming through.


I’d been contemplating never dying it again, instead wanting to just take the large chunk of grey that I have (it’s totally a Rouge streak) and making it into one completely bleached out stripe so you couldn’t see the grey/white roots. But that takes time and money that I don’t have. Going red took an hour total, cost $8, I didn’t have to get dressed, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s been YEARS since I’ve gone full red, and I’m wondering why I ever stopped.

IMG_4605 I probably stopped because by this time next week, it’ll be 3 shades lighter. Womp womp. But, on the achievement side of things, it was the first time dying my hair without dying every surface in the bathroom.

I also bought flowers, because Joel had mentioned wanting to shoot tulips, and while tulips don’t do much for me, these were pretty and I thought they’d make a nice prezzie for him.

I read a tip online that said 1 teaspoon sugar + 2 drops liquid bleach diluted in a gallon of water makes good plant food. That sounds terrible to me.

Before I knew it, Joel was home, dinner was made, lunch meal was made, and then it was time for bed. I was back to work this morning feeling like I’d just left.

But this weekend is a three day weekend. And it’s my birthday soon. And we’re going to eat burgers. And we’re going on a bush walk. And maybe we’ll make some punch drunk chicken. And maybe some cake. Or doughnuts. I’d settle for a plate of stacked glazed donuts with some birthday candles stuck in them. mmmm.


It’s all my fault (a judgey coffee post)

Yesterday, Leah was telling me about her life changing new coffee maker, and I was reminded of a post I wrote over 2 months ago, and promptly forgot about because I was trying to find a way to make it less pretentious. But it’s a post about me being a judgey coffee drinker, so there’s really no way of getting around it. So without further ado, I give you, my post:

Sometime, back in December, I broke the glass beaker that was a part of our French Press. I was washing it in the sink, and my hands turned to pudding and I dropped it, shattering it in a million pieces as it hit the sink. A stab was felt deep inside me, as the collected voices of my caffeine addictions cried out, BUT WHAT ABOUT COFFEE?

The obvious solution was: buy another $14 French Press. But in all honesty, we weren’t really impressed with the French Press. Mostly because I made tea nearly every time I tried to make coffee, and it seemed to waste heaps of grounds. So I decided to just invest in an auto drip coffee maker. But the good ones are expensive, and there was always something else to buy or a savings account to replenish, and a great cafe on every street, making a coffee maker a lower and lower priority purchase. So we started drinking tea. Tea all the time. Which wasn’t anything to complain about. Tea has antioxidants and more often than not has more caffeine than coffee, so it wasn’t a bad trade.

Until one weekend, when we really needed coffee. Probably because we ran out of tea, and probably walking down to the store was way too huge an effort. I opened the cabinet in the same way I open the fridge and hope to see it filled with already made, delicious food. And I saw that familiar jar of Nescafé Gold instant coffee left from when my friend Odie lived here, in 2012. Joel frowned and asked if it was still in-date. Like all food that’s processed and terrible for you, it didn’t expire for about 60 years. I unscrewed the lid, and it smelled like coffee. Joel winced and shook his head. But then I was like, fuck it, it’s coffee, and made up two cups.

Maybe now is the time to clarify that I’m not a coffee snob. I know that freezing beans and grinds will break down the natural oils and that will affect the taste, I know you should boil water and wait 10 minutes for it to cool down and that’s optimal coffee brewing temperature, I know you should use 2 heaping tablespoons for every 8 oz of filtered water. I hate coffee from Starbucks and I love 7-11 Exclusive Blend. Until moved to Sydney, I took a little bit of coffee with my (let’s face it, flavored) creamer and Splenda. And for years I used powered creamer because it was easier on my tum and it made the coffee taste creamy. So I’m a pretty trashy coffee drinker. I just know what I like. And I also know that instant coffee tastes like battery acid and jet fuel sputteringly shat out of an infant in the middle of WalMart. And that’s the problem with instant coffee.

Drinking that first cup, that burnt road fuel taste was all too familiar, and everything my parents trained me not to drink. But, it was coffee. It was hot and sugary. And a mug of something hot and caffinated in the morning has been a daily essential to me since I was 16. So I drank it, much like the alcoholic drinks mouth wash: it was a fix. And I vowed to get a coffee maker with my next pay check.

5 months later, I mentioned getting a new coffee maker, and Joel said, “Nah, I like the taste of instant coffee now.” He just said it. Plain as day, as if it wasn’t the worst thing he could say. And I felt guilt. The guilt from taking this Australian, raised on coffee that’s just inherently good no matter how shitty the cafe is, this guy who’s never willingly had Starbucks and was aghast when I told him I sometimes drank hours old, microwaved coffee, and I turned him into someone who says “I like how gritty and shitty instant coffee is. It tastes like America!” I turned him into an Instant fan. And more over, I turned him into a “I only wanna drink instant” fan. And I felt a deep, deep, shame.

I admit, instant coffee is easier, faster, and more consistent than brewing coffee, but there’s just something grimy, hard, and acidic to the taste. I loved that Joel makes it for me every morning (a sign of devotion if there ever was one), and that makes it drinkable, but it just doesn’t taste right. I started to miss drip coffee at home more than I missed certain relatives. And then I really started to miss drip coffee at home doctored with a couple spoons of hot coccoa and some warmed half-n-half (fun fact, Australia doesn’t carry half -n- half. The closest we come is “extra light thickened cream,” which comes close but tastes off). So, while I was on my unemployment vacation, I finally bought a new coffee maker. A Bodum pour over model, which I have been lusting over for a few years.

It was on sale at the same time that I had a few extra bucks to waste. score. 

The first cup I made with it was magic. And it felt like science.


It’s as close to drip coffee as I’ve had without an auto-drip machine, and you don’t waste as many grinds as you do with a French Press. It’s also easier to fix bad coffee–too weak? add more coffee grounds and hot water. Too strong? Add more water. That’s hard to do in a French Press or auto-drip. It doesn’t use energy, and has an extra fine permanent filter. Plus, look at it. It looks like it was plucked off the set of a sci-fi movie made in 1964.

I’m in love with it. Joel hasn’t come all the way around to it yet, because of course, the first cup I made for him was extra scary strong because I got nervous and basically brewed 14 tablespoons of coffee. And he still maintains that he’s in love with instant. But we’ll get there. I broke him once, I can break him again.

He still makes me instant coffee in the mornings, which makes him the best person in this world, but it’s my hope that with a little love, care, and attention, I can bring him back from the dark side.

Time will tell.

Catchup.com – Goodbye July!

Wow, August! Holy crap.

thank you, July, for being heads above the suck fest of June.

This month, the apartment stayed clean, we stayed healthy, my visa was lodged, work improved, Joel got more studio time, and we were better with staying in and cooking – like, we only ate dinner out twice. I might have realized this after we ordered pizza last night, but hey. July was good. It felt like a good calibration after June. And maybe August will be more awesome.

The weather has been amazing this weekend! Sunny and warm, but not too warm. The windows have been open and I wore shorts all day today. It’s making me think about the upcoming summer, and how I’m going to do things differently this summer. For one, I (fingers crossed) won’t be worried about getting a permanent job; 2) I won’t be in my early adjustment phase; 3) I now know how to get to the beach; 4) I know how to dress for the summers here, which is half the battle.

Tomorrow will mark the start of my 11th month in Sydney. At this point last year, I was on a badass vacation with my mom and her girlfriends (seriously, it was the best time) in Savannah, Georgia. I knew, as soon as I got home, it was going to be a shit storm of packing and feelings and trying to cram in as much time as I could with everyone while still taking care of myself, my things, and my time with Joel. Oh, and I was planning a giant birthday party, house sitting an hour away, and my cousins were visiting. It was a very hectic month. But, it all came to pass, as it always does. And before I knew it, Daron was dropping me off at LAX. And now it’s almost been a year. Time really does fly.

Oh, and I turn 31 in 11 days. And as my grey hairs and my gynecologist like to remind me, I’m not getting any younger.

Here’s hoping for a great month!

throw back love <3
throw back love ❤