Hello! Long time, no blog!

So, what’s happening? Besides time running at warp speed. How is it the second week of November already? 6 weeks until Christmas? Seriously. Stop it.

Life here has been pretty quiet. My temp role with the cosmetics company sadly came to an end the day before Halloween. I was disappointed because I was finally feeling comfortable with the role and my coworkers, and really getting to know and like the company. But, some things (like budgets) can’t be helped. Since then, my temp agent found me a handful of roles that have unfortunately fallen through. And last week I lost two interviews in two days– one because of the work restrictions on my visa, and the other because I’m still a Photoshop beginner. That was a bit demoralizing.

Oh well, right? Back to the drawing board. I had big plans for November to compete and finish National Novel Writing Month, which, as the name suggests, is when you write a novel in the month. It’s a competition held in the States, and the goal is to finish a 50,000 word novel between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. You don’t win a cash prize or anything, it’s mostly just the good feeling of finishing something. I’ve won/finished once, and it felt incredible. Even if writing — at minimum– 1,667 words a day broke my brain in half. This year, I started out strong, but I fell off the train when I started job hunting. Yes, it’s frustrating to put writing on the back burner once again, but as I told Joel, finding a way to make rent is a little more important right now. My savings will only go so far, and I need what’s left to apply for my Partner visa.


Speaking of which! Joel and I went to the courthouse yesterday to have a Justice of the Peace authorize our Defacto Relationship application. Which is basically declaring to the government that you’re in a relationship. It’s like Ultra Official Facebook. If your relationship is approved, you even get a certificate. Oooo! Sounds silly, but it’s going to help us when I apply for the Partner visa (which will allow me to work for up to 5 years, apply for citizenship, and get me Medicare). Without the Defacto Relationship certificate, we have to live together for at least a year and go through a tougher investigation before they will grant me the visa, and generally everything just takes longer. So, fingers crossed that we get approved.

It was pretty exciting to sign the declarations, though. If we’re going to get all giggly-girly about it. 🙂

Such process!

What else… we got a preview of summer a couple of Saturdays ago. We went to a birthday lunch for Joel’s mum and ate outside on what turned out to be a 37*C/98*F day. I lost about 5 lbs just sweating, but the food was incredible, and later we got to sit in the air conditioning and watch a thunderstorm and hang out with some flamboyant birds.

Hello, pals!
Hello, pals!


We’ve also binge watched Orange is the New Black. I can’t believe we have to wait until July 2015 for the new season. /agony

I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was a fun read, and I’m looking forward to finishing the series.

I really can’t wait for season 3, guys.

I’ve been cooking a lot. And going beyond tacos and nachos. Some of it has been successful, some of it not. I gave myself food poisoning trying to make a fancy pants cabonara with egg yolks, which was not so fun. And I made a chicken tetrazzini that was almost a catastrophe, but turned out awesome. It’s been fun, and I’m getting immune to tiny grease burns.

Joel turned the bathroom into a dark room and printed some photos from his last trip to Japan. I wanted to hang out in the bathroom with him and watch the photos develop, but after I smelled the Fixer and developer, I opted out. Developing photos is an exercise in vinegar chemicals and no air conditioning. I don’t know how he does it. But he made some good prints! I stayed outside and read gossip rags.

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Last week, we ate yum cha with some friends at Marigold restaurant. Yum cha is like Chinese brunch. You drink green tea and pick and choose dim sum to eat from ladies pushing carts full of steamer baskets. I stuffed myself with dumplings and wraps and other delicious treats. I even tried a chicken foot, which I struggled with because foot bones kept falling out of it. Eventually I gave up. I can only be so adventurous.

Yep. Nope. (source)
Yep. Nope. [source]
The sunsets have been awesome. But then again, when are they not? Australia is gorgeous.

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So that’s us! 12 days into November, and I have high hopes for the rest of month. The rest of the year? Wow. 2015 is a month and a half away. That’s nuts.

In the mean time, though, it’s back to the job-hunt-grind. Whee!

On Unemployment

After two weeks of holiday bliss, Joel has gone back to work. Which now means, I have to go back to work.

/sad trumpet

I’ve been pretty fortunate in my life that I’ve only been unemployed twice. And both of those instances coincided with me moving. And, as I’ve moved once again, I face the daunting task of job hunting. Fun!

My new view on life.
My new view on life.

And if Job Hunting in your own country is fun, you should try it as a Non-Resident. I’m facing some hurdles. Mostly that my Work and Holiday visa only lets me work at any job for 6 months at a time, which means I’m limited to retail, food service, or contract work. I haven’t worked retail in about 8 years, and I haven’t worked food service at all. Second, it appears as though most stores have already finished hiring for the holidays.  I applied to about 14 different places online, and I went out yesterday to drop my resume off at bookstores and other shops in the mall, but only once place took my application without telling me “We’ll keep you on file.”

Not having the security of a job gives me a prolonged anxiety attack. And leaving Joel to bear the brunt of the financial burden while I’m jobless notches up that anxiety attack. I know he’s happy to help me while I’m looking for a job, and I’m thankful for that, but free-loading makes me uncomfortable (which stands in direct contrast to my Peter Gibbons like dream of doing absolutely nothing).
I know I don’t have the right to complain yet. It’s only the start of Day 3, and I have a lot of searching help from Joel (and even some of his family members). And I still have savings. But, my savings are to keep me afloat in an emergency situation–not for every day living. I keep having flash backs to 2012, when I ran out of savings and blithely sent off resumes as I lived off my credit cards. And by “lived off my credit cards,” I mean, shopped endlessly for clothes and bedding and going out every other night and buying expensive plane tickets and electronics. Then I curl up in fetal position eating donuts and watching Sex and the City.

I have to keep reminding myself that I was a different person then. In 2012, I was depressed and hating myself and I couldn’t find any real motivation to make things better. Things are definitely different this time around. Yes, I’m wearing sweat pants and watching Sex and the City and I’m blogging, but this time, there’s about 99% less self-hatred*! And even though I’m in a different country, I have to make moves. It’s time to hustle, Kanye style.

After all, I came out here with a purpose, and that purpose is to make a life with Joel. And that won’t happen if I stay in bed glued to HBOGO.

You know, as much as I’d like it to be.

Stay tuned!

*that lingering 1% is because I still want to watch SATC. One day, maybe, I’ll be able to evolve past my terrible guilty pleasures.

By way of Introduction…

Heeeey, I’m Audrey.Me!I like pizza, whiskey, books, movies, tacos, comic strips, history, Star Wars, dinosaurs, MS Paint, arts n crafts, travel, and reality TV about trashy families and pregnant teenagers. 

I also like to write about all these things. I used to blog at Audge Podge & Blither Blather, but I live here now.

I live in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC. However, in September, I’ll be leaving the ranch and cheese covered, traffic-dense delights of the United States and I’ll be moving to Sydney, Australia to be with my boyfriend, Joel. 

Joel!In 2012, I went to Sydney to visit my super pal, Odie. I didn’t even know Odie had a roommate, but that’s how I met Joel. We became fast friends, and through months of emailing and chatting after I left, we realized we had fallen for each other. And we knew we wanted to make it work, despite the most distance possible between us. When Joel came to visit me for a month last year, I knew what our next step was. Eight months after that legendary visit, I have my Australian Work and Holiday Visa in one hand and a one-way ticket to Sydney in the other. And neither of us could be happier. 

If moving across state lines or moving across the country is hard, then moving internationally is going to be rough. I know, though, that what I’m giving up is minuscule to what I’m getting in return. I’ve spent a long time looking for what I want, but I never knew how good life would be once I found it. 

To say I’m excited about moving is a bit of an understatement. My dad was in the military, so I’ve moved around a lot in my time. But, this is the most anticipated move I’ve ever made, so I started this blog to keep up with my transition from ‘Murica to “Down Unda” (/wince), as well as to post new pieces that I’m writing, new projects we finish, and new adventures we have. I’m about 7 weeks away from Moving Day, and there’s just so much to be done. And once I’m there, I have a country that’s bigger than mine with so many different things to learn: visas, vegemite, health care, driving on the right, and learning to live without air conditioning, my Americans, Netflix, or my cat, Bill Purray.

So stay tuned for ex-pat anecdotes, new fiction, and hopefully lots of pictures of wallabies.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, audrey