This gonna be LONG. I’m just going to post about ERRYTHANG.

Natasha finished her lap around Australia and came back to Melbourne to spend the rest of her trip. She stayed with us while she found a job and a sharehouse, which I liked because I barely had to do any dishes. :D She ended up getting a job as a punter, and a room not too far away (if you use the ‘subtract 15 minutes because Melbourne’ formula). Pretty sweet.

We did some fun stuff all together like play lots of games and make a giant batch of perogies. So much work! But perogies don’t exist here so you gotta do what you gotta do!

PS here is the crappy cartoon I finally drew of our Fraser Island cliff driving adventure. Wow drawing cartoons is hard. It looked way better in my imagination!!!

We went to an epic cheese festival at Prahran Market. I have never seen so many free cheese samples in my life, it was amazing. I ate SO MUCH CHEESE. Will definitely try to go again next year.

After some extreme procrastination I finally got back in touch with my old sailing crew from 2009. They were very welcoming and invited me back for a sail a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great race. Actually we won!

Home stretch means you can have a bevvie! Look at all those boats in our dust!!!

They said I’m welcome to join them again any time but it’s been hard to organize on my end. This month is just so busy. Hopefully I can get back into it in the new year.

My coworker Sonny (left) got married and invited the whooooole department. It was a fun wedding, although since I am the newest staff member, I had to be on call. However this stopped me from going too crazy and having a repeat of the pre-Mexico-barfing-20-times wedding experience so that’s actually fine, haha. No pictures of Scott because he was doing Movember and looked gross.

I ran a 30% off sale for the Black Friday weekend in my Etsy shop and ended up selling a whole bunch of patterns! Even though I wasn’t making much profit at all on some listings I still managed to make about 3x what I usually make in a month. Sweet! Plus I hope some of these people will post pictures of their WIPs and do my advertising for me. Next year I will make sure I’m much more prepared for the sale with lots more stuff to offer because I think it’s the perfect timing for Christmas gift sales.

I had known that Sia was coming to Melbourne for months, but tickets were $179+ so I didn’t organize anything. Even though she is one of my favourite singers ever, my budget was like… $75 (why are concerts soooo expensive in this country). I decided to check Ebay the day before the show and saw a few pairs of tickets that were going for about $120 but my budget was still $75. Finally, ONE HOUR before the show started there was a single ticket available for $70 so I bought it and literally ran out of the house. I was in the middle of preparing dinner and everything but just left it on the counter hahaha. Poor Scott. (But he was the one telling me to BUY IT!!!! when I was waffling.)

I didn’t get there in time for Amy Shark (which was really too bad, because I like her a lot), but got there in time for Charlie XCX (who was good, very pop, entertaining), and MØ (who dances very strange and I only recognized her last two songs).

Then came Sia. That blob with a bow on her head.

I didn’t actually like the show. Yes I know that Sia doesn’t really perform any more and that she would stand at the back of the stage the whole time. But I would never have guessed they’d use pre-recorded video screens at an enormous stadium show. They had dancers on stage that were matching what was on the video screens but what was even the point?? Most of us were too far away to actually see what was happening on stage. I can watch music videos at home.

To make it worse, she didn’t interact with the audience at all. She didn’t say a single word until 90% through the show when she sang Titanium she changed it to “I am Australiaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn” and said “I know that’s not how the song goes but I just had to do it” and that was it. I’m not even entirely convinced it was her on stage and/or she was actually even singing (it all sounded good… TOO good).

I left disappointed. Good thing I didn’t pay full price at least. I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t use live video?! The other people around me seemed pretty underwhelmed as well, although no one was really saying anything so I wasn’t sure. But she got annihilated in the press the next day so I guess I wasn’t alone.

(Side note, Scott and I went to Sia’s last show that she ever showed her face, in Vancouver in 2011, and she chatted with the audience a lot back then!! That was a really fun concert and I’m just going to think about that one and not this recent experience.)

Elevator selfie post-concert. My shirt has bananas, watermelons, and pears on it. PS so happy I found a new sport to give me tons of bruises. :P

Scott made me a cider advent calendar!! I enjoyed the one last year so much but didn’t want to get it again if it had a lot of the same ciders, so Scott organized one himself! I guess this only works in places where you can buy things one bottle a time, but I asked him last night how difficult it was to get 24 different ciders here and he said only 4/10 difficulty, so not bad! It’s been great so far, already a few ones that I have never heard of before.

Scott has a Star Wars Lego advent calendar this year, but next year I think I will make him a comic book advent calendar. I just have to be more organized.

My lime tree is liming!! I am iksidid. Will they be ready before summer is over?

We’ve been eating out a lot lately. Too much, tbh, but it’s full blown Christmas Party Season. Wowzers. I went out for a ladies dinner with all the girls from weightlifting, which was really really nice. It’s always great to cross that barrier and hang out with people outside of where you usually see them, like work or the gym or whatever.

Scott and I also went out for dinner at Hellenic Republic for my work Christmas dinner. We all had the banquet meal and it was very nice. The lamb was fantastic.. tender and sticky, and the grain salad was another highlight. We also had saganaki, chicken, kingfish sashimi, pita and dips, and more. And rice pudding for dessert, which I have never had before. I think I can make that in my pressure cooker? Need to investigate.

It rained REALLY hard last weekend. They were hyping it up sooooo much in the media and so many things got cancelled, including a dumpling dinner we were supposed to have with my internet friends, but I was kinda relieved because we were already eating out so much. Anyway there was flooding and power outages and I even got to leave work early. Our windows started leaking after several hours of constant heavy rain. I collected about 3 litres of water in jars before we went to bed. Thankfully it slowed down overnight.

I brought Scott with me to trivia last week and he won the jillpot!! The question was “What country produces the most almonds?”

Rosemarie is now on our side of the International Date Line! She is doing a ski season in Niseko, on the North Island of Japan. That will be an adventure!! She is blogging again, which is great.

Dis is a skillet cookie, and our nephew Myles. He’s much bigger now. Time for another skillet cookie.

On Saturday I am doing my first weightlifting competition. It’s just a casual club comp and I’m lifting less than what other girls use as their warmups but WHATEVS. I miss competing, and I always ended up surprising myself in skeleton races, even after the extreme anxiety and sleep deprivation. So I’m doing it. My training personal bests at the moment are 32 kg snatch and 42 kg clean and jerk. I will be happy if I get any kind of total at all (you get three attempts at each lift) and very very happy if I get a new PBs. But we shall see. I trust my coach and will do what he tells me on the day.

OK I’m all caught up! Byeeee.

 

Things have been pretty routine lately, over here.

I’m still only working two days a week (plus occasional on call). I’m hoping I get full time, at least temporarily, early next year. Cross your fingers for me, because I really do like the hospital.

I’m still training at Phoenix weightlifting club three days a week. Things are starting to feel slightly less awkward (but still terribly awkward). My best snatch so far is 31 kg, and best clean and jerk is 40 kg. It’s so hard though, like one time I decided to count up every single thing I thought about or checked in one skeleton run, which is about 60 seconds long.. and it was like 180 things or some ridiculously high number like that. But now each lift is like 2 seconds long and there are DOZENS and DOZENS of things to think about!! I guess I just have to keep doing it and doing it until most of the things become ingrained. Luckily that’s easier to do than with skeleton.

And I’m still making the occasional sale in my Etsy shop. Those are my favourite emails to get ever.

Exciting things coming soon though…

I’m going on a spontaneous trip to Queensland this weekend to visit Natasha, which is going to be SO FUN. We’ve got an XXXXXXXXTREME adventure organized, and the weather is looking fantastic. I hope to spend a significant part of the trip submerged in water. Fingers crossed we don’t spend too much time submerged in sand in our 4WD.

And Scott and I finally bought our flights to Korea for the Olympics! We are going for two weeks in February. We’ve got tickets to mens and womens skeleton, and mens super G so far, and are hoping to watch hockey and curling as well. The rest of the time we’ll stay in Seoul, and explore (/eat) from there. Rosemarie is planning on popping over for a visit as well, which will be super cool.

I really wanted to try riverboarding ever since I heard about it from Helenka and Natasha.

I actually didn’t research it that much… I thought we would spend the day travelling down the river on our riverboards, occasionally going through rapids… basically a slightly more extreme lazy river experience.

Wrong!!

Rosemarie couldn’t find any thermoses to bring their coffee, but you can definitely always find a jar in our old house. :D

Eating pre-riverboarding snacks and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Starting to get more nervous because apparently “no Scott can’t switch to regular white water rafting because it’s all booked up” actually means “we’re pretty much shut down and there is actually no white water rafting happening at all and your group are the only people here”.

Ah well, let’s get ready to go. Helmets and wetsuits, check!

Make wraps in the owners kitchen who is not there for some reason, check!

After a little bit of instructions, in to the water! First we went down a medium rapid. Some water was inhaled. But we did ok. They ask if we want to go down the bigger rapids… sure. Much water inhaled! Much stress! Much flipping upside down! Much bumping into the things! Much tiring! Rosemarie and Scott were traumatized because they spent a lot of time under the water.

Then instead of continuing down the river we had to paddle furiously to the side, climb out, and walk back up through the trees and rocks, wearing flippers!!

None of us really enjoyed the big rapids that much so instead we tried to get onto the standing wave. A few of us managed it, but only with the help of our three guides. One guide would go out first and get settled on to the wave and ready to catch us, and another guide would paddle out beside us and show us the angle we needed to get to the right spot/push us into position. Then the first guide would literally yank us back onto the wave when we rushed over it. Then when we fell off the wave, the third guide would paddle after us and make sure we made it back to the shore.

Groundboarding?

Resting. Everything was super super super tiring. Thank goodness we had the guides to push and pull us places when energy levels were plummeting. Everyone tried a few times to get on to the wave, while the other people watched/rested. The guides took no breaks.

Sarah did not care for the rapids hahaha. Instead she went down the very gentle side a couple times.

We did all go down the big rapids one more time at the end of the day. We were slightly more successful but only because the guides were shoving us into position hahahaha. They seriously did so much work for us.

Done for the day.

Back at home nursing injuries. Rosemarie banged up both ankles, and Scott smashed his knee on a rock. He also hit his face on a tree branch while hiking because he was looking down at his flipper feet. GOOD TIMES. We all had sore abs the next day too.

Helenka had fun, but I’m not sure any of the rest of us would actually go riverboarding again. It was so hard!!!

About a month ago I had a very bad case of analysis paralysis. As I often do, I frantically messaged Rosemarie.

She helped me solve all my little problems, and also figure out that in general I need to:

  1. Do more new and scary things.
  2. Meet some more people.
  3. Take more advantage of only working part time while it lasts.

Isn’t she wise.

So I did! I’ve got a few new things on the go at the moment.

First I signed up for a picture framing short course through Scott’s mum’s work. I thought it might be useful because all my cross stitch projects come out in random non-standard sizes, and as a result almost all of my finished stitches are rolled up in a box under my bed instead of displayed.

The first class we learned about materials and cut mat boards, second class we cut more mat board bevels, and foam core and mounted things together. This week we cut the wood for our frames and glued them together, and the last week we cut the glass and put everything together. It was fun! I finished two frames. The instructor is very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of info. The tools to do it on my own would be a bit of an investment though.

Have you ever seen 2.5 kg plates before?? Lol.

Second I joined an Olympic weightlifting club. It is very intense and scary there. Everyone is extremely strong. There are people training for the Commonwealth Games and stuff. The first night I went, THIS GUY was there!! He is so awesome. Anyway so now I have a coach who is teaching me snatch and clean and jerk from scratch. It’s very cheap and I can go as much as I want, which is pretty cool. And everyone I’ve met so far has been very friendly. I think it will be good for me to have some goals again, now that I don’t have skeleton in my life. Hopefully I can do some local competitions at some point.

I also thought maybe I could try and cook more elaborate meals? These were homemade pork and shrimp siu mai. They were yum. I got a library card too so I could get a bunch of fancy cookbooks for some new ideas. Any ideas for labour intensive but not cost intensive meals would be very welcomed! (Just typing that out makes me realize that I should make perogies v soon, especially since they don’t really exist here.) (brb crying)

So life is very busy these days. This is good.

Next weekend I’m going to Adelaide for Cassia’s baby shower. I don’t think they actually expected me to accept the invitation but flights were only $33!!! So… YOLO, I’m going.

And then a couple days after that we go to Ottawa!!! We are very excited to escape the cold here and get some quality family/friends/cottage/Canada time in.

PS fish and chip shop deep fried Mars bars are amazing. We shared a few at work the other day. :D

It’s been a while since I’ve done a life update. I guess because we’ve settled into a bit of a routine now.

WORK: Mine is going well. It’s been a bit challenging trying to learn everything when I’m only there a couple days a week, and with everyone sharing the work, but it’s coming together. Scott’s is… going. :/

HOUSE: We moved! We upgraded to a two bedroom apartment a bit more central to work and family. The apartment is small, but nice, and I love the neighbourhood.

EXERCISE: I joined a new gym near our new house and it’s GREAT. They have an epic gym area, swimming pool, and lots of classes, so I’ve been able to add yoga and swimming back into my exercise plan (in addition to weights). Scott started biking to work (10km each way!), and still plays basketball and the occasional extra game of soccer or more basketball.

CRAFTS: My latest project is creating cross stitch patterns that I am trying to sell on Etsy. It’s hard though!! I have to make the patterns, test stitch it, photograph it, list it, and then advertise it. I’ve got two patterns in my shop but I still have SO much more work to do.

I also taught Scott how to crochet, so we’ve been making granny squares to eventually turn into a blanket. The biggest challenge is getting our tension to match each other.

FRIENDS: I’ve still been going to trivia most weeks with my internet friends. They are great. I also get together with a sub-group of them to Stitch n Bitch every month, which is fun. We usually eat lunch, and then crochet/cross stitch.

We used to go to a different trivia night with some of Scott’s friends but the pub changed the night so that is off until we find a good replacement.

We had Jemma and Damien over for a games night the other weekend. We played Wasabi and Carcassonne. I think we are getting close to teaching them Agricola!!!

VISITORS: Cassia and Pablo came to visit Melbourne with two of their Spanish friends. We went to Chin Chin for dinner the first night (1.5 hour wait!!! but really tasty), and then did a mega tourist day the next day at Brighton Beach, Fitzroy, and the CBD. I hope Silvi tags me in her pictures because I didn’t take any. :/

Natasha has arrived in Australia as well. She’s in Sydney at the moment, but we expect to see her in the next couple weeks. I can’t wait! We’ve got the guest bedroom all set up ready to go. :D

SUMMER: One really hot day we drove out to Sorrento back beach to play in the tidepools. It was lovely but Scott severely sunburned his feet which was SO GROSS. It wasn’t that hot of a summer, but it is lingering a bit. It’s still been above 30°C most days, but thankfully it gets cool overnight, so it’s been okay.

SKELETON: My FOMO about not sliding this season hasn’t actually been that bad because 1. I still get timesheets from Whistler to analyze, 2. the World Cup races are on at very convenient times here so I’ve been able to watch most of them live. 3. Instagram stories make me feel like I’m right there, and 4. My old coach Rob has been keeping a daily vlog. So yeah, that’s cool. The final race of the season is next weekend, in Korea on the future Olympic track! Should be interesting.

OK I can’t think of anything else at the moment, so… hasta luego.