Monday, July 5, 2010

End of the first semester, travels, and relaxation!

The first semester was a success! Looking back at how far I've come from when I first stepped off the train about 6 months ago, it puts a smile on my face to think about how things have progressed. I'm currently trying to sign up for classes for the next semester, I'm thinking I'll take International finance, physics, and a nutrition course. I've decided I might like to pursue some form of medicine when I finish my finance degree, I'm leaning towards physiotherapy at this point.

Dad and Terrie came to Australia to visit this last week, we had an excellent time touring around Sydney, the blue mountains, and the Hunter valley vineyards. Without a GPS, we spent a good majority of the time driving in the wrong direction. Interestingly, the Australians have great infrastructure but they don't believe in road signs, figuring out what road you're on is a challenge! I think the endless number of old pubs and access to great wine kept everyone sane and happy.

Now officially on "winter" break, I've had time to do some pleasure reading, surfing, and cruising around the house in my new ugg boots (thanks dad!). I leave for Japan to meet Cooper, Margot, and Rebecca in 11 days and I'm getting very excited! Otherwise not much else has been going on, the cold weather has reduced my time spent out and about. The beard competition continues...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yep, I went there.

The beard competition continues, honestly I’m impressed Tristan hasn’t thrown in the towel.

The competition has only one rule: One cannot remove any hair from their face
If you do this you must shave your head and the competition ends.

Several by-laws have been created to prevent sabotage, having someone else shave your beard, or any combination of both.

This has lead to a series of mind games being waged against each other, the most notable being the silent treatment (not mentioning the beard), talking about how much I am enjoying my beard and am excited to see how it will grow, dropping subtle hints about how dodgy the other person looks, having third party individuals comment on how bad/good one of us looks with a beard, and asking every poor waitress, employee, or cashier who’s beard looks better.

I decided to take it to the next level and shave my head but leave my beard untouched, I hope you can appreciate the tactics of this.

Not much else is new on this side of the world, the weather has taken a turn for the better and it’s been blue sky’s and ~70 all week.
Other notes of interest:

I’ve got one final left but it’s not until the end of the month.

last week there was a beached whale on dixon beach.

I got my postie up to 92KPH (12 K’s over it’s supposed top speed).

Corlette house is in the process of creating a “Wall of Champions” in which the results of every competition between housemates will be displayed, so far America hasn’t lost.

Sorry for the lack of updates everyone, I'll try to keep this thing more up to date with the happenings over here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surfboard racks, winter swell, and fish

The last few weeks have been very productive as the semester comes to a close and everyone prepares for exams. The highlight of my productivity has been the creation of custom surfboard racks for the postie bike
The rack works really well and allows Tristan and I (we both made them) to check several different local beaches to find the best waves. Parking? These posties can be parked pretty much anywhere!

The winter swell has been hitting Newcastle in a BIG way. The other day I went out with Tristan into the biggest waves I've ever seen in person. I whole heartedly insist that a few of the waves that steam-rolled were double overhead, but no one believes me. Each fall put me in an underwater tumble for ~10seconds, it didn't take many to completely wear me out. I didn't catch any waves that day but being out there was amazing and terrifying at the same time.

Oddly enough I've decided fish isn't so bad. I bought about 10lbs of Basa, some type of catfish, because it was on sale and I've been really enjoying it, who would have guessed?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Birthday on the other side of the world

In a few days I'll have been in Oz for four months, it's unbelievable how much has happened and how many amazing friends I've made! I've decided it's reasonable, or maybe even necessary to celebrate my birthday twice because of the time difference between the land of Oz and America. My birthday pt. 1 was a beautiful day filled with birthday wishes, "shouts" of beer at the pub down the street, and not one, but TWO birthday cakes! After the pub, the night was finished off with burgers and "chips"(french fries), a movie, and ice cream.
It's now the morning of my birthday pt. 2 and I'm not sure I'll be able to top yesterday! We've decided to have a BBQ to celebrate the birthdays (Tristan, Kieren, Abe, and mine) next Saturday, I'll try and take some pictures.

The link on the top right of this page now has new pictures from Abq, Bangkok, Newcastle, and Queensland.

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes and gifts!!! I would never have expected this much celebration so far from home! I'm glad I chose to stay two semesters instead of one, I couldn't imagine having to head home in a month.

Lastly the shaving competition continues, it's hard to say who's winning, in more ways than one it feels like we're both losing? I've given Tristan an ultimatum, I will accept his forfeit without shaving his head if he composes an eloquent letter expressing my superior masculinity and victory in the competition. This letter must be signed by 25 men, framed in dignified fashion, and hung in our living room.
We'll see what route desperation takes

Friday, April 30, 2010

Postie bike mayhem

After two days of jumping through hoops, filling out paperwork, and being taxed at every available opportunity, I have a postie bike.

This beauty costs $5 to fill up and can hit 50mph with a tail wind.

Getting the bikes was an adventure in itself, Tristan and I left for the auctions at 6:30AM and got home around 10PM. After a series of wrong turns (Google maps betrayed us) we found ourselves on the outskirts of Sydney at the Pickles Auction yard.

Upon locating the postie section of the auction, we confidently pretended to give a maintenance check to the bikes at random. Having no idea what to look for we decided to befriend the other buyers to see how they were checking each bike. The bidding was sporadic and stressful (it's hard to understand auctioneers, even more so when they have accents) but I managed to grab a bike I had deemed road worthy.

The purchase of these has led to extended conversations outside standing next to the bikes, often shifting conversation back to how great they are.

I've warned the neighbor that we are starting a motorcycle gang, she wasn't half as alarmed as I had expected, she obviously has no knowledge of high dollar motorcycles!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Challenge

About a week ago Tristan made the mistake of proposing a "who ever shaves first loses" challenge. I upped the ante by suggesting who ever shaves first has to shave their head, he grudgingly agreed. You see he shaved his head about six months ago and it's taken that whole time for his hair to grow 2-3inches. I feel confident that I'll win this challenge due to having no reason to shave (no girlfriend, job, or need to be presentable). Also I've been thinking of shaving my head anyway, so maybe when Tristan loses I'll shave my head too.

This picture is at the end of week one, I'll be sure and post a picture when the challenge ends (in my victory!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Breakfast burritos, studying, hypochondria, and 2nd hand everything.

On Sunday morning I cooked the boys a signature New Mexican breakfast, the breakfast burrito. The burritos were delicious and well received, but they reminded me of how much I miss Mexican food.

I've spent the week studying for mid semester tests, there is nothing exciting about this, but I thought I should mention it so everyone knows I am actually going to school out here.

I've lately been having some severe stomach/intestine pain and bloating, especially after swimming (I gulp down air when swimming hard, resulting in stomach pain). After testing several theories I figured out I'm lactose intolerant which is a bummer but lactose free milk is quite tasty, so I suppose I'll live.

After receiving a free bed from good friends Ben and Gabby (thanks again!) I noticed that everything in my room (minus most of my clothes and electronics) is second hand, and a good portion of it was found on the side of the road. Not having much stuff has made me realize how much I don't need it.

Lastly in 9 days I'm heading down to Sydney with Tristan to buy postie bikes. The excitement of this has led to 2nd hand leather jackets, fake tattoo's, and endless speeches on why postie bikes are superior to all motorcycles.