Catchup.com – January

Forgive the radio silence around here – I’ve been trapped in a time warp where the only hours I’m conscious are between 8AM-5PM. And before I know it, I’m waking up to get ready for work again.  I blame the 800% humidity and 37*C temperatures and my debilitating cramps and two relatively stressful weeks at work. So in all honesty, blogging got lost in the cray. Hoo-ray. Continue reading “Catchup.com – January”

Hot enough for ya?

So, we’re in the meat of summer.

It’s muggy and it’s damp and it’s the time of year where two cold showers a day become a necessity. And even though we don’t have air con in our apartment, we’re pretty lucky to now live in one the middle floors, in a space shaded by trees and built with a pretty decent cross breeze – as opposed to our apartment in Balmain, which faced the sun, had NO shade, and absolutely broiled in the afternoons. Continue reading “Hot enough for ya?”

Ticket to ride

After 2ish years of avoiding the Australian equivalent of the DMV, I finally got my Australian Driver’s license.

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My real license, complete with Extra Terrible Photo arrives in a few weeks. Whee!

 

I’m not sure why I put it off for so long – maybe I was equal parts scared of waiting in line forever at the Service Centre, taking a right handed drive driver’s test, and maybe it was all just WHAT IF A HUNTSMAN GETS IN MY CAR?! (this happened to me with spiders in the States a few times, it’ll sure as shit happen here. Just much bigger.) Also we have public transport and I’ve really been enjoying not having a car payment or related wallet-crushing expenses.

But the wheels went in motion the other night as Joel and I were having our 500th conversation about when we should get a dog. And he might have said “We can get a dog when you get your license, because we’ll need a car to take him places.” And I might have had my application filled out and ready to go the next day.

(#motivation)

And today, we got an unexpected early release from work, so I found the Service Centre that’s about 6 minutes away from our place and walked on over. I waited about 5 minutes, showed a few documents and my application, took a 10 second eye test, took yet another ID photo where I look like a meth-faced criminal who can’t decide which gender he identifies with (seriously, I look like a man in all but 2 of my ID photos. Thanks for the strong genes, Dad.), and $56 and 10 minutes later I was out the door, with my unrestricted license (albeit temporary) in hand.

That’s it? That’s it. No road test, no knowledge test – nothing. I have never driven in the right side driver’s seat and I haven’t even sat behind the wheel of a car in over 2 years. Don’t they know I’m American? And that I learned to drive in Maryland, home of nationally renowned terrible drivers? So this will surely be exciting. And now that I have my license, Joel can finish is permit (#citykids). So, double exciting.

I can’t wait for more road trip adventures and not waiting for the bust to take us to the beach and most importantly – GETTING A DOG PAL! Well, one day.

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vroooooooooooom

Summer goals: 1 down, 100 to go!

 

Summmmmmer

We have two fans on at night, every day I get 6 mosquito bites, it’s too hot to wear a bra, and I’m wiping sweat off my brow as I scan through my newsfeed filled with pics snow and flannel jammies and hot chocolate. Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the street. Except no. Because it’s already getting so hot and muggy that I feel like I’m going to die.

At the risk of cursing myself into another season where I spend every day at work and every night on the couch in a coma with my phone in my hand and donuts in my face – I feel like this summer is going to be a good one.

On the docket:
– Australian driver’s licence and driver’s ed (scurrrrrry)
– Beach trips
– Hosting Christmas!
– Weekend adventures (see driver’s license)
– Lots of this:

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writing, not reading gossip rags

– Lots of this:

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So much cooking. And eating. Yum.

– Lots of this

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So much chill. I mean, I’ll probably sweating but I’m excited for the chill.

2016’s first round of summer was pretty much dog shit. Let’s knock the second round out of the park. Or whatever you do to make shit awesome.

xo

Catchup.com – 2016

Helllllllllo, internet!

I’ll never take unmetered internet for granted ever again. On Saturday I had a two hour phone chat with my parents, and it was glorious.

It’s been a while, huh? Yes. So let’s catch up!

Moving – We moved on the hottest weekend in January, and I had an estimated 442 panic attacks that weekend. I was nervous about what Joel would think of the place, whether our stuff would fit, if the removalists would show, if they’d steal our stuff, whether I’d love it as much as I remembered… it’s always a risk when you move, but the risk is a bit bigger when you and your partner have signed a lease and you’re the only one who’s seen it.

But, all’s well that ends well. This is possibly the most organised move I’ve ever had. For the first time in my life I woke up on moving day with only the “can’t be packed until last minute” items left unpacked. Joel was a little skeptical of the size when we first walked in, and I’ll admit, I was too. With no furniture in it, the place looked even smaller than it is. Our removalists were late (expected) and manipulated me into accepting being overcharged by $100 (also expected – and after some rationalising I’m ok with this. Well, mostly. It was a hot day and we were their 3rd move and we had stairs, but they weren’t without their faults and – let’s not get into it).

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At the end of the day though, as we ate pizza on the floor, we were happy. And a month later, we still are. It’s a different energy and a different feeling than in Balmain. And since it’s an old building, full of quirks too. Our water temperature is Hoth or Center of the Sun, the toilet runs if you don’t release the flush at a precise moment, most of our windows either don’t open or don’t stay open without spacers, our bedroom balcony door leaks when it rains, there’s a ghost living in our shower, we hear our neighbors above us when they shuffle their feet – the usual.

 

We haven’t replaced our washer yet (I learned the “measure important spaces” rule the hard way), but there’s a laundromat not too far from where we live, and it’s never crowded. And to dry off with a dryer dried towel after not having dryer dried towels for a year and a half was almost a religious experience.

 

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Time to get real (i.e. shallow) I’ve always wanted to live in a historic building, in a place with high ceilings, large windows, exposed brick and pipes, beams, and track lighting. The large covered patio and bedroom Juliet balcony are just bonuses.

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This is turning really smug, really quick, and I’m sorry – but not sorry. It’s important to love the place you call home. And I really feel like I can call this place home.

Ikea – We decided to splurge a bit at Ikea for a new couch and a new bookshelf. I love Ikea. Joel does not. But we braved the Scandanavian wonderland on a Saturday morning and emerged with a new couch, bookshelf, lamp, and night stands.

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Before!
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During: box 1 of 5

 

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AHH!
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After! Wheee

A weekend devoted to Ikea shopping and Ikea construction and reorganising and rearranging? My inner Monica Gellar was all yesssssssss.

Work – So. Busy. Since mid-January. Re-launching a website and releasing a new product line at the same time = many long days/nights, weekend time working, migraines and actually – insane amounts of excitement. I have a really great job with amazing people. After all, I’ve pulled the same long hours in the same high stress environment in different jobs and have felt completely alone.

I’ve been with this team for 4 months, and most days, it feels like I’ve been there for years. Other days, it feels like I’ve only been there for 4 months. It’s frustrating to be a Noob, but I’m learning more every day. Getting more knowledgable about advertising and marketing (which will shock college Audrey – who transferred schools because the communications program she started to major in was going to focus on marketing), design, photography, and how to run a small business. My boss is inspiring, and the company I work for makes so proud. It’s a good fit.

Summer – we were fortunate enough to have  really mild start to the summer, but now we’re making up for lost time. Most of February has been a damp, humid mess. But to be honest, I’ve been so distracted with work that I haven’t really noticed. And since we moved, my twice a day showers haven’t been needed quite as often. But still – I’m so glad for cooler temps coming in about a month.

oh, and the cold weather that will hopefully kill off the cockroaches that I now see almost every day. /shudder

And what else…

Actually – that about catches you up.

Since January, it’s all been planning to move or moving or unpacking or not having enough internet or working long hours and burning through our expendable energy. I wore myself out to the point where a greasy cookie and a few drinks of sour milk in my coffee sent me into a six hour bout of food poisoning. I think I’ve definitely learned over the past few months that I can’t run on empty anymore. That whole “work/life” balance thing that my boss keeps insisting I implement might be a good idea.

But now, it’s the first day of March. It’s the first day of Autumn. The dust is settling, and I’m looking forward to the end of summer (i.e. humidity) – even though I’ve done nothing I thought I would this summer. Woooops

So… what’s everyone been up to?

Feeling Festive

The awesome “twig-mas” tree is purchased and decorated, all the present shopping is finally done, and a shipment of gifts came in from the Santa Turners.

And now, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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And it’s beginning to look a lot like I have two weeks off. Soon. So soon.

And speaking of soon, big update coming. I promise!

xo

How quickly we forget

Remember last summer when every. single. post. I wrote had at least half a paragraph complaining about the summer heat? Did you miss it? You did? Fabulous. Because it’s coming back full force.

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It got pretty warm this week. And not just “wow, it was pretty hot in the afternoon!” but more, warm all day, and sleeping with the fans on warm. I had a little bit of warning, at least. Last weekend, all anyone could talk about was how it’d be 40*C/100*F on Friday. It was whispered around the trade show I was working, in ominous tones like the heat was an advancing army and everyone should prepare for an invasion.

All week at work we geared up for it, counting down the days with “oh, yeah, it was warm today. Friday’s just going to be worse!” and “Just wait til Friday! 45 degrees!” and “Have you planned what you’ll wear? Make sure it’s breathable. It’s going to be a hot one on Friday.” and “Has everyone bought a water bottle? It’s going to be really hot on Friday.” mind you, I work in an air conditioned office with very little manual labor. But when I woke up Friday morning to a balmy room and my hair plastered to my cheek, I knew the invasion had begun, and the weather was going to suck.

Walking to the bathroom made me sweat. I ran a shower and wondered what was even the point – I’d just need 3 more before bed. Getting dressed made me sweat. I was sweaty and cranky and it was 21*C/70*F before 8 AM.

Once I got to work, I didn’t go back outside. We had a temperature update seemingly every 10 minutes. And the mercury just never stopped climbing. At one point, it was 43*/109*F, and that was when the a/c at work flat out stopped. At that moment, I thought of my bus route home: the first bust I catch comes from Coogee beach. It’s been awesome – reliably on time and not always crowded – until this week, when the beach crowd showed up. Wednesday and Thursday I had to wait 35-50 minutes for a bus that wasn’t loaded to the gills with teenagers in wet swim suits making all the bus seats damp. That’s a long time to wait in the boiling sun. So faced with possibility of literally roasting in the crazy heat for an hour, I decided to catch a cab home. I sat with the back seat a/c vents pointed right at me, and I was home in 30 mins, not 90. Best $30 I’ve ever spent.

As I walked up the stairs in my building and toward our apartment door, I could feel the temperature rising. It was like our place was generating a heat shield and I had to pass through it to gain entrance. I walked through the thick wall of humidity and into our hot, hot, air conditioning-less apartment and saw Joel sweating and sitting in front of a fan that was just blowing hot air back at him I knew… this summer’s going to be so hot. Especially after being so spoiled by autumn and winter and this blessedly extra long, unseasonably cool spring.

I had little hope that the temps would actually drop over night like the weather channel predicted, but we woke up to grey skies and low temps, and for that I am forever thankful. One day was enough. But shit. Friday was a grim reminder that the death of summer is almost here. Soon it’ll be mid December and 108*F will be the norm. Summer is stretching its legs and crawling slowly back into my life, to take residence and make me a sweaty monster until April.

Oh boy.

Time for frozen wash cloths and cool showers and terrible summer allergies and hanging out in the tub filled with cold water and standing wet in front of the fan to feel the chill. Time for scheduling activities for when you’re least likely to suffer heat stroke. Time to once again feel waht it’s like to stand in a puddle of my own sweat. Time to put away EVERY item of winter clothing and EVERY blanket because looking at them will make you sweat. Time to shave my legs everyday, because pants will no longer be an option.

But, in the essence of positivity, it’s also the time for hanging out at the beach, two weeks off for Christmas, eating dinner outside, picnics, coffee in the park, and daylight until almost 9 PM and being able to do 4 loads of laundry in a day because everything dries in like, an hour.

I mean, regardless of the nice things summer brings, chances are still pretty high that I’ll burst into flames or wilt away in a dehydrated mess.

But… we live in hope.

Summmmmmer

We’ve been tip-toeing up to summer all through September, but every warm day we had was immediately followed by coats and boots or frozen rainy weather. Friday, though, brought the sunshine, and we’ve had 28-35*C days since. I’ve been reaching for flip flops and shorts, not boots and jeans. It’s still light outside at 7 PM. And at midnight, with the windows closed and the fan off, it still gets so warm that I sweat on my upper lip.

And with that, I’m calling it: summer is officially here. And I’m not dreading it like I did last year!

This optimism is mostly because I’m not having back to back summers this year. Or maybe I’m excited to not freeze every day when I’m at work (where the heater was functioning maybe 5 days out of the entire winter). Regardless of where this summer excitement is coming from, it’s a welcome change. Maybe I’ve just been glued to my couch for too long in grey, rainy weather (see: last post regarding funks), but I stepped outside in the warm sunshine on Friday morning and I just felt glad to be alive – warm weather AND a three day weekend? Heck yes.

Despite First Day of Flip Flops sore feet (why is the first day just terrible), and killing myself trying to walk up a hill (frighteningly out of shape) it was a banner weekend. And I’m 100% sad to go back to work tomorrow.

I ran out of all my toiletries in September. New Toiletry Day = Best Day.
I ran out of all my toiletries in September. New Toiletry Day = Best Day.
so much cobbler yum.
so much cobbler yum.
Cheers!
Cheers!
I was told that "shrimp" or prawns, as they're called here, never go on the barbie. And these are called "skewers" not kebabs/kebobs. It was like everything I thought I knew was wrong.
I was told that “shrimp” or prawns, as they’re called here, never go on the barbie. And these are called “skewers” not kebabs/kebobs. It was like everything I thought I knew was wrong.
Joel's Nan always brings articles and clippings to show him. It's adorable.
Joel’s Nan always brings articles and clippings to show him. It’s adorable.
And she showed us this pic of her in the 80's holding a snake. FIERCE.
And she showed us this pic of her in the 80’s holding a snake, while wearing a gold turban. FIERCE.
Joel at the meat helm
Joel at the meat helm
MEAT FIRE! Joel showed me the continuous shooting function, and I got amazing shots of the grill catching fire (the meat was unharmed)
MEAT FIRE! Joel showed me the continuous shooting function, and I got amazing shots of the grill catching fire (the meat was unharmed)
and bubbles
and bubbles
and more bubbles
and more bubbles
all the bubbles
all the bubbles
lazy Sunday cookie baking
lazy Sunday cookie baking (and maybe the last day until March where it’s not too hot to turn on the oven)
I ate raw berries for the first time this weekend, and it didn't kill me. If I'm not careful, I might start eating better.
I ate raw berries for the first time this weekend, and they didn’t kill me. If I’m not careful, I might start eating better.
lazy Sunday obsessive drawer re-ordering and kitchen clean out.
lazy Sunday obsessive drawer re-ordering and kitchen clean out.
Labour Day Beach Day! We checked out Balmoral Beach, which is in the harbour, so no scary waves.   Just calm, clear water. This meant no panic attacks for Audrey. /victory
Labour Day Beach Day! We checked out Balmoral Beach, which is in the harbour, so no scary waves. Just calm, clear water. This meant no panic attacks for Audrey. /victory
The remains of an antique shark net. We swam on the side that doesn't have a net. Whhhoooops
The remains of an antique shark net. We swam on the side that doesn’t have a net. Whhhoooops
the water was perfect, if a little cold. We would have stayed all day if there was a way to not get fried in the sun.
the water was perfect, if a little cold. And there’s rocks and cliffs for exploring. It’s perfect, and one day I’ll be able to walk up the extra steep hill leading to the beach without having a heart attack.
First Neenish Tart. Must have more.
First Neenish Tart. Must have more.

Three day weekends never seem long enough. But at least we got a kick ass summer kick off.

Here’s to more time outside! Here’s to sweating profusely 24/7! Here’s to towels drying without a weird smell on them! Here’s to the return of Spider Watch! And more importantly, here’s to not having to blow dry my hair until April.

Hello, summer. I’ve been surprisingly excited for you to get here*.

*check back in one month, when I’ll be willing to sell a kidney for air conditioning.