YEAH TOAST!

Toast has become a form of currency in the house. Mostly this is because we don’t have a dedicated toasting machine, so we instead use the grill section of our oven.

Collectively, we kind of suck at this a lot.

I am usually fairly decent at it – or, perhaps more correctly, “usually the person who first detects the scent of charring toast in the oven”.

Recently, however, I won the Burnt Toast Olympics.

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(*this is the industrial toaster at a restaurant. Not the oven at the Hipster House.)

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Why, yes, that is the red glow of embers implying that this toast was ON FIRE.

I tried to pick this toast up to throw it in the bin, and it disintegrated into ash when I touched it.

I told my friend that I had won the Burnt Toast Olympics, and he sent me my gold medal.

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I am also no longer allowed to make fun of my housemates when they burn their toast. Because most of the time, theirs can still be salvaged.

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That is un-scrape-able.

A Life Outside the Temperate Zone

For a moment, there was heat.

Alas, we seem to have fallen into the warmth of our house too quickly, and now, a tragic darkness lies where a pilot light should be guiding our way.

Instead of a friendly whirring of the fan, punctuated by the occasional clang of someone adjusting the thermostat…there is empty, lonely, cold, silence.

At least we are not yet out of reach of our previous habits. We have been driven back into thick socks and the constant companionship of tea.

It was a brief, fleeting, beautiful spark of luxury, that brought to mind beaches, and baking, and campfires, but the heat wave is gone (until we can next find a repairman of worthy regard. Clearly our last attempt was less successful than we had originally hoped).

Until then, we are back to dreaming…

 

Hope Vs. Change

I told my friends that about my potential plan to leave Melbourne.

A huge part of why that plan came into being is because most of the jobs that a person can get as a traveler, you go to your boss to say “I need to take a month off.” and they’re like “So…you’re quitting?” because it’s all casual work. I have spent an enormous amount of my time in Melbourne searching for a job. If I’m going to be getting back and having to look for a job…I could do it somewhere where work is easier to find.

When I told my friends though, suddenly plans started coming out. “Oh, you know I have a friend who runs a bar.” “I know of this place, and they always need extra people in August. Let me call them for you.” “What if we could get you a job now so it’s waiting for you when you get back?”

And it’s wonderful, and I feel so cared for, but at the same time I’m conflicted.

Because if I leave Melbourne, it’ll just be another trip; another adventure, another chance to explore.

And all of these offers just make me hope. Because what I want hasn’t changed: I want to live in Australia. So, what if I had this job waiting for me in Melbourne, and then I took it, and they loved me, and I got sponsored, and then I could stay in my fantastic house with all of my awesome friends in this beautiful city I’ve fallen in love with…

 

So, I suppose I’m just at the stage where I’m attempting to keep all options open for as long as I can.

We’ll see what the future brings.

An Education on the Narhwhal.

I may or may not have stayed up all night watching nature documentaries (narrated by John Hurt). It was pretty great.

Anyway, over the course of the…seven hours I spent watching Human Planet, I learned many things, not the least of which being that narwhal skin, ounce for ounce, has “almost as much vitamin C as an orange”.

So that’s cool.

This morning I was relaying this fact to my housemates, and one of them said “What’s a narwhal?”

And, because I am a terrible person, my response was to show this:

 

Because how could I not?

(Then I did pull up some real pictures and give a bit more of an in-depth (read: factual) explanation.)

But mostly, I just want the world to know that a 40-year-old Australian was introduced to the concept of Narwhals via viral video.

My work here is done.

A Warm and Cozy House

The heater in the house has been fixed.

 

I’m pretty sure this is the definition of bliss.

 

I am no longer wearing a sweatshirt, a hat and two pairs of socks to be warm in the living room.

(Though my housemate likes to joke that everyone in the house has their place: the cat on the couch and me on the floor in front of the heater.)

A Miley-Themed Meeting

I was walking home the other night, and then I saw…what appeared to be a silver sousaphone waiting at the tram-stop.

I was exceedingly intrigued.

Once I made it to the tram stop, I foudn out that it was not actually a sousaphone, but instead a giant silver mylar balloon in the shape of a 2.

I’m guessing it was for a 22nd birthday, but I really have no idea.

There were two women accompanying the giant balloon, and they were quite excited because they’d been into the Central Business District, and had gotten a cassette signed by their favourite band. (I had no idea who the band was, and was mostly impressed with the fact that this woman kept a cassette tape in her purse and that a band signed it. So, she’s my hero for the day for that.)

Maybe I brought it up, with all my talk of sousaphones, but they decided that we should all make music together.

After I was forced to admit my lack of skill in beatboxing, they decided the best thing we could do was sing Miley Cyrus.

I can’t deny. I was totally expecting it to be a moment like this one:

That…wasn’t the song they went for, and unfortunately, my repertoire of Miley Cyrus is rather limited.

This one? I got.

This one? No problems!

Which one did they start signing?

This one…

Which I know…approximately half the lyrics of the chorus. I did know that there were some “oooh” bits though, so I was pretty good at catching those.

Then I continued on my way home.

I love this city.

Consolidating Plans

My original intention when coming to Melbourne was to stop traveling. I was hoping to find somewhere to build a permanent new home.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to make those plans come to reality.

So, instead of clinging to what I was originally hoping for, and settling for the inevitable disappointment of not being able to stay when my visa runs out, I’m just going to re-focus, and build a different kind of experience.

I recently made the decision to return to the United States for a month (I’ll be going for my brothers wedding, and staying for a family reunion.) and it feels like a really natural place for me to end my time in Melbourne. Upon my return to Australia, I’ll have a blank slate to fill with travel and adventures.

It’s been really hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I can’t find a way to stay in Australia, but there’s no point in continuing to pour my energy into a situation that I can’t realistically change (because, no, seriously, I am not going to get married for citizenship. Thanks.).

Australia is a huge country, and I have seen…one city of it in the past 8 months.

I thought maybe I was ready to settle down, but apparently I still have leagues left in my wandering shoes.

So, here’s to the future, and new places and moving on.

TOWANDA!!!

 

 

Reading Habits (Or, Why I Should Apparently Join A Book Club)

I don’t read very much original fiction anymore. (Don’t take that to mean I don’t read. I spend hours reading every day. It’s probably the single largest chunk of the pie chart that is “How I Spend My Time”.)  It’s just that usually now I’m reading essays by people and articles folks have posted, and a good deal of fanfiction as well.

It’s not that I don’t like original fiction. Whenever I make a point of sitting down and reading a *book*, I pretty much always enjoy it.

I’ve been reading a short story for a friend of mine, and I think I’ve realized why I don’t spend my time reading books anymore:  No one else has read them.

I’m not trying to say that I’m the only person in the world who reads books. It’s just that there are SO many people in the world reading so many different books. When I read something, and I connect with it, I’m moved by it…that makes a difference to my life, and how I’m interacting with the world.

I want to explain that change. I want to bring up this passage that rocked my world, and discuss it with people.

It’s easy to do that online. That’s what the “comment” button is for. There are communities that toss around ideas and build and borrow from one another.

I’m reading this story, and there’s some line that’s freaking poetry, and I’ve read it nine times and I want to kind of let it sink into my brain so I can keep thinking about it during the week, and so I’ll have it on hand for later, when I can give it out to other people, or when I’m looking for ways to frame the way that I interpret my life.

I want to be able to say these things, because I know what they mean. I know where they come from, I know how they affected me in their original context.

Other people don’t have that context. There is no shorthand for deeper meaning. I can’t just spit out this line and draw them back to the feeling that comes from connecting your own life experience to the words written on the page, all the build-up that it’s taken to get there, all of the investment that comes with time spent.

It’s like having inside jokes with no one.

Or, I can turn back to my thriving online communities, full of other crazy fans, and I can say “ZOMG *THAT LINE*!!!!!

And everyone else who’s there says “INO RITE??!!?!?”

 

So…maybe I should join a book club or something.

They’d have to be an exceedingly…*exuberant*…book club, though.

 

…Maybe I’ll just stick with fic.

Dream Job

I don’t know how this keeps happening to me, but I get texts from potential employers about job opportunities really early in the morning.

So I grab my phone, and I read that I have a text about something like “Yes, that job we discussed,” and then I think, oh, yeah. Okay, awesome. I’ll deal with that when it’s not 6:30 in the morning.

Then I go back to sleep.

Then I’m always reasonably certain that I had a dream where I got a job.

And then I wake up, and, nope! I have leads to follow about employment!

So then I call people and make stuff happen.

 

It’s just really weird. Like I’m pulling jobs out of my subconscious or something. So…let’s hear it for dream-jobs, I guess?

A Sign at the River

I was walking Melbourne, and I found a park.

Sometimes, it’s just…really obvious which way path you should be taking. This was one of those times.

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I went down the stairs and there was a river. There was a shiny disc on one of the rocks in the riverbank, and at first I thought maybe it was litter. It wasn’t.

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It was a plaque that is printed with the following inscription:

Here you will have to cross the Darebin Creek. Stop at the creek bank to wash your hands to symbolically resolve those issues that you have no control over, or that cannot be resolved at this time.

Do not waste energy on issues that cannot be resolved. Let them go, or put them to one side for the time being. Dealing with those issues that we can control ensures that we channel our energy toward productive activities that will result in a positive outcome or benefit.

Once you have put aside those issues over which you have no immediate control, you are ready to continue the journey through the gum tree lined valley toward a tranquil wetland.

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This is why it’s important to go out an be in the world.  Every time I start freaking out, I get reminded that it’s going to be okay.

I know that I’m crazy lucky, and incredibly privileged, but it’s moments like this that make me feel like the world has my back.

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