Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Shocker: Australian English (shock-UH); noun, a person, place, or thing that is terrible. "Man, I can't believe how bad that referee was in the footy game." "Yeah, mate, he was a shocker."

Shocker number One: A few years back Cate and I caught a taxi to LaGuardia Airport and our driver was unbelievable. He was an erratic driver to begin with, swerving from one side of the street to the other, apparently disdaining the use of his indicators and instead, preferring to just yell at other cars and, of course, blow his horn. Unfortunately, this asinine style of driving perturbed one of the "Gypsy" cab drivers, who our driver had previously expressed his disgust with. These two gentlemen proceeded to spend the rest of our trip to the airport in some sort of jousting- for- position, nausea inducing, race to the finish. At one point, our driver nearly drove up onto the sidewalk to gain position on his opponent. They were THAT serious.

I recalled this episode from my past this morning as I rode the BUS to work. In defence of my driver, he was running five minutes late once he arrived at the busport to pick us up, so clearly he felt obliged to drive a lil recklessly to begin with. This liberty went to his head as I literally felt like this man was driving a Formula1 racer; he darted in and out of places that no bus ought dart. Then he felt disrespected by another bus driver, who was evidently stopping too quickly in front of us. Again, in his defence, the other driver was stopping to abruptly, but this is absolutely no excuse for tailgating whilst driving a 40 foot metal cylinder filled with people. Thankfully, after an expletive soaked diatribe (I didn't want to say, "expletive laced tirade," but I feat that "expletive soaked diatribe" might be just a cliche... ANYway), he pulled astride and then in front of the his rival bus driver and we were able to finish the trip in peace. Shocking.

Shocker number Two: During the aforementioned bus ride, I passed the Burswood Dome (the premier concert/ event venue in Perth... Britney Spears, Beyonce, Coldplay, Pink all performed there when they came to town) and saw the signs for Hulkamania. Now, I am not one to disparage my new home town, and to be entirely honest, I have no idea what the level of, for lack of a better phrase, Hulkamania is in the US... but seriously? Hulk Hogan still matters to anyone? I was actually curious so I looked up just how old he is... 56. He is also apparently, 6'4" and 302 pounds?! And his real name is Terry Gene Bollea, it's funny what you never think of, but I digress. Hulk Hogan is bringing his seven ring wrestling circus to Perth! And judging by the advertising saturation, we should be excited about it! I guess in my mind, Hulk Hogan stopped being relevant in the mid 1990's... All I can think of is him in his red/ yellow jumpsuit, ripping his rubbery shirt from his ripply chest... These images along with more recent ones of Hogan sporting a two tone moustache/ beard combo ring true with his fans and I have no doubt that however many shows he puts on will sell out. That's Perth. Shocking.

Ok. I promise, pictures of my new home are forthcoming... eventually.

Take care!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insert Title Here

Over the past two months I have wanted to write something, anything, but I just could not motivate myself to write words worth reading (don't get your hopes up for this entry, but I'm just saying...). But since yesterday the paper and pen have been calling out to me; and I had to answer.

Cate and I have taken out a lease on our first place together! Cate's family has moved from their family home to a large modern apartment (those of you coming down under in December will get to know this apartment well!) Thankfully, most of the things from the family home do not flow with the contemporary ambiance of the new place so Cate's parents needed to get rid of a few things. Thus the birth of "Operation Scavenge." Cate and I have managed to fit the following items into our two bedroom apartment: Cate's brother's bed frame, her parent's mattress, a couch, her brother's work desk, a bookcase, her family's television, her family's bbq (on the balcony), her sister's chest, and two wooden coffee table- esque boxes with drawers (one of which is the resting place for the television). We also did a couple of IKEA runs and bought another bookshelf and a dinner table with four chairs :) Now, for the fun part.

In order to move most of these items and a few others over this past weekend we rented a "ute," (utility truck; like a pickup truck with bed walls that fold down for easy access) and got down to business. One of our first big attempts was the Taylor family computer desk. It is a beautiful, solid Pine desk with plenty of storage space for disks or documents. Cate and I carried the massive hunk of wood out to the ute and loaded it up into the bed. We drove it the 90 seconds to our new place and looked at the two flights of stairs that we would have to traverse and summoned every muscle fiber Tommy Sheehan finely crafted for us in the bowels of Columbia's athletic complex. We heaved and lugged for what seemed like 45 minutes, but finally reached our door which we opened. Then we maneuvered the desk into position. The desk did not fit. We tried several other arrangements, but the desk was just too wide, deep, and long to fit. Dejected, we took the desk back down to the ute and to the Taylor home where it rests to this very day.

Having learned a valuable lesson in the previous story, we measured the Taylor refrigerator before attempting to haul it over to our place. Naturally, it was too large as well. So we engineered a swap with the Taylor's next door neighbor in which they would get a nearly brand new fridge and we would take their disco- era one and a few hundred dollars to sweeten the deal. We were in no position to complain since we still got a free refrigerator out the deal, however all of this transpired over the past couple of days... a couple of days after our ute rental had expired. Apparently, refrigerators must be transported upright, so putting it in the back of a long car was out leaving us with just one option; putting the fridge on a handtruck and wheeling it over to our place. Now, as I mentioned before, it takes about a minute and a half to drive from the old Taylor home to our new place, but we found out that it takes about 30 minutes to walk whilst wheeling a refrigerator. Undoubtedly, we were a bit of an odd sight in the late evening traipsing through the suburbs of Perth pushing and guiding a fridge down the sidewalk. Goodtimes.

I will post pictures of the completed apartment when I get a chance and I'll try to write more frequently, but who knows how often I'll feel compelled to write on this blog anymore. Like I mentioned in a previous post, this blog was really great when there was a set time on my journey to Australia and my life was very much an adventure, all the time; but now that I'll be living here for at least a few years, the thought of chronicling my day- to- day existence does not appeal to me at all.

But, only time will tell.

Take care!