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Kangaroo Spotting

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taste of Melbourne

What we ate:
Tuna carpaccio, goats feta, rockt, ginger eschalot dressing
Duck Tortelloni with pea puree and truffle oil
Calabrian prawn sausage, pickled cucumber salad
Pistachio panna cotta with carmel salted popcorn

Even my meat-and-potato-loving farmer boy got to try some twists on his ole favorites: A gourmet wagyu burger and spicy patatas bravas. He is really open-minded about food and will try anything. I'm still trying to get him addicted to sushi however.

Elegant and a little bit fancy, The Taste of Melbourne. Thirty dollars just to get in the door, it's very different to the Taste of Buffalo. Not better, just different. I could say the same about my life here....

Everything was outstanding. Don't get me wrong I would kill for Jim's Steakout and pizza with Blue Cheese dressing but this was a great community experience. Just a little something to make it feel more homie.

We had a few leftover food tickets so we figured we'd give them away on our way out. It reminded me of the time Sara and I- still broke college students- were scraping together the last of our Taste Of Buffalo tickets to buy one more frozen sangria when a family approached us on their way out and the Dad handed us a wad of tickets. It made our whole day!

I laughed out loud when Matt handed our last 2 dollar ticket to a couple in their mid forties, well dressed and who flinched as we approached them. Paying it forward, perhaps these people could have afforded two more tickets but a kind gesture none-the-less.

"I know what you're laughing about you little tool-Look, I know I just gave our ticket to the lawyer and his physio-therapist wife but there was no one else!"

We laughed and teased each other along the short walk home in the chilly late winter night.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smudgy Frustration

"What town were you born in?"

I scribble furiously on Matty's part of the application- sure that he'll want to redo this in his neat, block lettering. This fact amuses, rather than annoys me.


No answer.


He falls asleep so easily and quickly like only an innocent child can do. I envy him when I'm tossing, turning and stressing at night.

Walking back over to the kitchen counter I knock over a glass of water- allllllll over our precious documents.

I want to cry as if someone pissed on my freedom. Instead I just start slapping the wet paper stacks onto the table, pouting. It's been one of those days. One of those weeks.

The reason I've started this paperwork when I should be climbing into bed is to make myself feel unstuck. I'm convinced that once I get residency a permanant dream job will magically attach itself to my life.

Here I am. Crying over spilled water on a Tuesday night. Frustrated at my over-sensitivity because being homesick makes me as emotional as a breakup would.

As homesick as I am- it's still not as achey as it felt when I was apart from Matt for three months. That says quite a lot.

Yesterday I spoke to my best friend for three hours. Somehow it made me miss her even more.

"Why do you have to be from so far away?" I asked Matt as I hugged him later that night.

He just hugged back tighter and kissed me on the head. No one can answer a question like that. It's not even fair of me to say outloud. But he patiently lets me ask them so I can feel better.


Monday, August 9, 2010


Before crawling into bed Sunday night I shove the last tea towels into a ginormous laundry sack.

Lifting it up I can’t believe how heavy it is.

“There’s no way I’m going to be able to lug this thing on a tram then the five blocks to work without feeling like an illegal immigrant,” I complain to Matthew.

He argues with me until I agree to let him drive me to work in the morning.

I did get an official letter last week assigning me the position of volunteer marketing and fundraising assistant for a welfare services agency here in Melbourne.

The Letter’s timing was perfect as I started feeling unfulfilled at work- even though I’ve been taking on more responsibilities and challenges.

My office administration job started out as an alternative hospitality position- better hours than waiting tables. Due to some- ah-hem- staffing changes, I’ve been receptioning, training, learning and invoicing- steering the ship.

There were three of us left, all brand new- doing the work and covering the hours of a formerally five-person crew.

Last Thursday I found about 20,000 worth of unpaid invoices. That was the day after I asked for a raise.

“Ohhhhh, welllll”…I was told, “ that’s going to be difficult because what you didn’t realize is that you were supposed to be doing this stuff the whole time.”

It’s really okay though. I’m proud of myself for asking since lately I’ve decided to become more assertive. Growing up my Mom was a tough cookie to say the least. I was worried that she came off as cold and bitchy.

What I know now is that she had to be extra tough- for herself in a lonely marriage, for us kids. Everything was a battle because not only was she steering the ship, she was staffing it, and fueling it. Marketing Maven by day, chief, cook and bottle washer at night.

In my meeting where I tried to highlight everything I was doing to deserve the raise- Things dropped into the conversation like pirates off a plank:

“Of course the new receptionist won’t be expected to do as much as you.”
“Don’t worry, as soon as the new manager is trained you’ll have more help.”

“How would you like to do the laundry for an extra 25 bucks a week?”

At the time it seemed like something. But I realize that 25 dollars a week (which MIGHT buy you lunch in Melbourne) isn’t worth the two loads of laundry, water, soap and time on a weekend.

Thanks, but no thanks. It’s not going to work for me. This is the first and last time I will do your enormous load of laundry.

I’ll be holding my head up high from now on, walking to work unburdened.