March 29, 2010

A Long Distance Thank You

On the morning of Thursday, March 26th, I awoke to a knock on the door. It was about 7am (so I simply stirred, not prepared to greet the day) but Nat had been up for over an hour I'm sure, so she signed for a package that was delivered to our doorstep.

We knew it was coming, so it wasn't a surprise, but the contents were yet to be seen.
Our dear friend Brad had sent us a very special package.

So although I'm completely swamped with work to do before we leave for Sydney on THURSDAY
I had to make time for this.

Thank you, Bradley, for taking the time to meticulously choose these items and send them our way.
It was like Christmas. Watch it here!

If you send us fun goodies, you'll get a special thank you video too. Just puttin' that out there.

March 25, 2010

For me mum.

A while back, I mentioned that I was going to attempt to make my mom's award-winning (or just very highly acclaimed by our family and friends) macaroni salad. Well, I did it and it was very close to the original! There were definitely some differences (which I blame on the gram/ounce conversion difficulties), but it wasn't bad for a first try in a foreign country with dodgy ingredients and faulty measurements! Have a look, wish you could have had a taste.

How's it look mum?

March 21, 2010

Early Autumn

I'm used to this.

Not this.

Does the Gold Coast Autumn intrigue you as Boston thaws into Spring?
I have finally added more photos. Check 'em out in my two new albums here and here.

Works like a charm.

Nat and I both had a pretty bad days last Thursday, but there's nothing to cheer you up like a little American Spirit.

Make sure your speakers aren't up too high.

USA, we love you.

March 20, 2010

A Universal Taste

This and last Saturday morning, I boarded a bus, sat for 15-20 minutes, then exited and enjoyed a delicacy that thankfully tastes the same no matter where you are in the world. With Bible, journal, iPod, chai, and a raspberry white chocolate muffin, it was a morning very well spent.

Thank you to these dear friends.

March 17, 2010

Cheers: An Australian 21st

As some of you may know, my 21st birthday was on March 6th! There were many emotions surrounding the day: it was my first birthday in about 16 years that I hadn’t shared with my step-dad (his is the day after mine), twenty-one is pretty big and I didn’t get to have a special bash with all of my closest friends, and I’ve been able to drink for over two months and I barely ever get carded. So that was kind of a non-event. However, it was my 21st and I’m in freaking ‘Strahya mate. That’s awesome.

But for all of the different dynamics playing into the day, my friends here made it a birthday to remember. If you don’t know me extremely well, birthdays are a BIG deal to me. And not just my birthday - I get really excited for the birthdays of others! It’s a day all about you! How frequently does that happen? We need to live it up, people. Knowing that, and knowing that I was missing my friends and family, Nat, Lyndsay and Kat did a phenomenal job at making it meaningful to me.

First, we went to my favorite bar to ring it in. On Friday night, we went to Hotel CBD and got some drinks. Then we saw a fight, and there was a fire in the kitchen so we had to evacuate. That made it memorable. Then Scott met up with us and we went to Varsity Tavern across the street, where the musical performers (playing acoustic nineties covers, happy birthday to me!) gave me a shout out over the mic at midnight and everyone clapped for me. It was a nice way to bring it in with a bang.


On Saturday, I went to the gym in the morning, then Lyndsay and I had a leisurely afternoon of shopping where I got some great clearance finds including a fun birthday dress! When we got home, Lynds and I made my cake, trying out hardest to duplicate Funfetti by putting sprinkles in the cake batter. It wasn’t a huge success, but it made it fun and it was a good attempt. Meanwhile, Kat’s mom who was visiting for the weekend made dinner for us all! It was delicious and I came home to a living room full of balloons and some of my favorite songs blaring over our speakers.

The girls had all bought me presents that I was to open at dinner. This is also where I opened my birthday card from Miss Betsy Gettis :) Thanks love. I honestly wasn’t expecting gifts, I just thought that we’d go out for the evening so I was so surprised! They really didn’t have to do that, but it was so sweet of them! Natalie got me an adorable skirt and a really classy dress with a belt which I love. Kat got me a dvd, an orange monkey loofa (she’s a goof), and a sweet nail polish. And Lyndsay got me a braided headband and a picture frame that she’ll be filling with a collage of our trip. They were all so wonderful! And they also all wrote me really sweet cards. Evidently Kat thinks I just turned two and Lynds assumed I was turning one.

 Then we got all dressed up and our friends came over a bit later for cake and wine. This is where Scott gave me his gift, which was hilarious and so thoughful. He’s a film student and we have a class together, so we talk movies and watch them together all the time. He’s also the film guru who has copies of famous screenplays. So knowing my love for Star Wars, he typed out the first 11 pages of A New Hope, and changed the characters and the situations to reflect our friends and our jokes. It was an absolute riot and we all loved it. Instead of R2-D2, we had Kat2-Law2. Instead of C3PO, we had Nat3Fer. Then of course there was Cassie Skywalker and Obi Scott Kenobi. He read it out loud to us, as we all chimed in with the sound effects: storm troopers, explosions, Kat2’s beeping. He ragged on our professors, poked fun at the movies we watch in film class, incorporated other friends of ours, mocked Kat’s absurd over-usage of the highlighter and Nat’s constant girly screams… it was so impressive. Coming from him, it was the perfect gift. It reflected his personality so well and we all had a blast listening to him read it and hearing our cameo appearances.

 After that, we drove to Surfer’s Paradise and hit up Fiddler’s, an Irish pub that makes me feel like I’m at home in Boston. Except the TV’s were showing cricket, so you’re rudely reminded that you’re not on Landsdowne Street, which is kind of a bummer. The atmosphere there was great though, and we chilled there for a bit before migrating to karaoke! They almost didn’t let us in because their bar area was full, but they let us rent out a private room instead. So all ten of us were crammed into a really tiny room, singing our little hearts out. The evening featured a little Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Nick Lachey, Bon Jovi, Elton John, The Beatles and many more. Birthday Girl was given a free cocktail, and Birthday Girl’s party was given a free round of Tequila shots. Wouldn’t have been my choice, but it was a nice gesture I suppose. I highly recommend karaoke as a birthday activity, if you’re in the market for a good one.

Overall, the day was a blast! I felt so loved and appreciated by friends that I had only known for about two months or less. For a girl who was aching for friends, family and the familiarity of home, the day was the best possible alternative I could ask for. My parents had emailed me a video of themselves singing and being goofballs and that made me smile. Then the following Monday, their package arrived, including a drawing from my nephew Zach, photos from birthday’s past, confetti, noise makers, and of course these…

And as most of you know by now, my brother Tony wrote me the most incredible birthday song ever called “Twenty-One-Der” and recorded a music video as well, which featured many of you! For everyone who video taped themselves dancing to this year’s biggest hit and sent it to Tony: THANK YOU! That was so marvelous and it made me so happy! It’s so cool to feel loved by everyone even when I’m so far away. If you missed it, here’s the song and the video is posted on my Facebook. Look it up and see how awesome my brothers and friends are.

In conclusion: birthdays overseas can almost compare to birthdays at home. But only because my friends and family ROCK THE HOUSE when it comes to showing how much they love me. You’re all the best and I miss you so much. Thanks again for sharing in my special day :)

March 1, 2010

A letter to a friend...

Dear Gordon College,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, contemplating what it is that makes me love you for who you are.

I love your small, neighborhood size. You don’t overdo it, nothing to gaudy. I love your New England charm that warms my heart, even when the wind chill is below zero. I love your pathways, shaded by the massive pines. And I love the big, strong trees of various shapes and sizes, even if they come crashing down into buildings sometimes.

I appreciate the way that you stimulate me academically. There’s no “just squeezing by.” If I don’t give my all, you can tell and I am penalized for it. You demand my best and don’t want anything less. Thanks for pushing me.

I appreciate the way that you comprehend and respect that PowerPoint is to be used as a supplement tool, an additive if you will. You understand that it’s not the end-all-be-all teaching crutch. Well, most of the time. Thanks for not reading slides to me all the day long.

I appreciate that when I don’t read for my assignments, it makes a huge difference and I feel embarrassed when it is discovered that I’ve cut corners. Even if this bites me in the butt sometimes, I like being held to that standard. I like that if I don’t read, I’ll be lost entirely and feel guilty about it. It makes me work harder next time. Thanks for noticing when I slip up and calling me out on it.

I actually appreciate genuinely fearing that an exam will rock my world. It’s much different than studying by the pool an hour beforehand, then strolling in haphazardly in my bathing suit, and sauntering back to the pool an hour later. Thanks for the challenge and instilling the fear of God in me.

I love that you have a quad, not a lake. And Gull Pond is much better anyway - we can actually swim in it. It’s far better than just looking at a pretty fountain, bridge and some bullsharks.

I really like how the CET is the only stop for all of one’s technological needs. Not the library front desk for sub-par wireless assistance, the self-serve kiosk for printer credit, and the Humanities store house for camera equipment. Oh, and thanks for not charging 12 cents/page for black and white printing and a $1/page for color.

I’m glad that you have a pretty bell that means something special, not one in a tower that plays “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and other ditties at the hours of 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.

Most of all, I know that time and money spent with you is very well spent. I respect you and what you represent. You mean something, and it’s definitely not a waste. You’re worth it.

I suppose that it’s for now. Just know that I’ve been thinking of you fondly and I’m so glad to call you home. Love you. I’ll write again soon.

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