Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conferences Are Like Crack

I recently attended a certain blogging conference put together by a certain professional blogger that just so happens to reside in Australia.  In the weeks before it, I went back and forth on whether or not I should go, but my boyfriend helped push me into the direction of showing up.

In the end, I’m glad I went.  I always think I know everything there is to know, but it is good to be reminded of the places that can be improved.  The day even included the case studies where successful individuals in the blogosphere were able to get up and tell their story.  It was definitely inspirational, but it appears that events like these have a way of going beyond inspiring and almost to the point of “yes I also drank the kool-aid”.

It’s almost a little frightening.

Monday, August 2, 2010
I’m a bit thrifty.  I found this swimsuit on sale for $10.  They didn’t have any in my size, so I just made a few readjustments, and wah-lah!  New swimsuit ready for Queensland travels!

I’m a bit thrifty.  I found this swimsuit on sale for $10.  They didn’t have any in my size, so I just made a few readjustments, and wah-lah!  New swimsuit ready for Queensland travels!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Standards of Furnishing an Apartment

My apartment doesn’t have a couch, so when you come into my wide-open living room to watch TV, you’re left with the option of a couple red bean bags, a couple patio style plastic chairs or just the floor.  In a couple of weeks, I will have now been in my place in Killara, NSW for an entire year… and still no couch.

Is that a problem?

When I first moved in, I had nothing.  The apartment was unfurnished, but I just wanted to get a place that I could call my own instead of the weird share houses I inhabited the few months prior.  So, furnishing started, and it started out basic — a mattress, a bar fridge, some dishes, a cheap Ikea desk and a place to eat.  I did, after all, not really know how long I would be here!  To make myself feel better about the situation of having so little, I decided to call it a Japanese style design where everything was low to the ground.  This worked for me, but then I started showing the 2nd bedroom to prospective flatmates, and this is where it got weird.

"So, where do we do the laundry?  Are you getting a couch?  Can I fit all of the milk I drink into this little fridge?"

I felt awkward.  Of course, I wanted to upgrade over time, but couldn’t be bothered after paying the deposit and first month’s rent all my own.

This is when I got my mini-washing machine off E-bay.  It looks like a garbage can, but can twirl a small load of clothes around for long enough to call them clean.  We, obviously, hang dry everything.  Again, this doesn’t bother me in the least.  After living on the road, in Guatemala and Kyrgyzstan, I have absolutely no qualms with hand-washing clothes.  Yet, I do seem to cop a lot of comments from people asking me how the garbage can washing machine is working out for me ;)

And the couch was going to have to wait… at least until we found a good deal, or found someone with a truck to move one in.  I started looking, but was just not happy, so we went out and bought some red bean bags for the time being.

Since then, they just became the norm.  Cynthia, Pat and I have grown used to having them, and used to using them.  When I go into the living room, I don’t even think about having a couch…

…until someone new comes over and looks around in confusion.

I guess I’m just really good at making do with what I have.

  • In Ukraine, Tanya and I waited the longest time to get a kettle.  Instead, we boiled water in a pot and used a tiny sauce pan to scoop it out.  It didn’t seem weird to us until others came over and commented.
  • In my first share house in Surry Hills, I used a couple of coat hangers to make a hook to MacGyver my keys out of my locked bedroom.  I was able to save a chunk of change versus calling a locksmith.
  • For a birthday party, I made party hats out of old newspapers, and a birthday scepter from an old Economist magazine.  I’ve been known to turn house plants into Christmas trees and use old bottles and cans as vases and other forms of decoration.

It is just so awkward when people are expecting a couch, and there to not be one.  When I think about it actually, I don’t know anyone else that is without one.  It’s like one of the most standard items of furnishing a home.

A friend of Cynthia’s came over a couple weeks ago, and he was left to sit in a chair in the living room with me while she took a shower.  He just looked so uncomfortable.  He couldn’t sit still, and he even asked me why I don’t have a couch.  What’s so weird about it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Testosterone Scale of Sports

I watched the World Cup for the first time in my life this past month. Actually, I think this was the first time I have actually watched an entire game of soccer on TV — how about that! It was quite a bit more exciting than I had imagined, so I’m glad I finally did it, but I now know something…

I do not want my future children to play soccer.

Sure, they have good coordination and skills, but… really… the crying?! Wait, you fell down in the grass, so now you’re rolling around in pain? Have you seen a rugby match?!

There is no doubt this sport has deep roots in the European culture. I imagine Spanish and Italian mama’s boys getting babied for a skinned knee after their games while they chow down on some home-cooked meals since that is where they live until their mid-30s. Is it attractive to the females of these cultures to be such a wuss?

I have come to the conclusion that soccer is not hot. I don’t care how flowing your blond locks are, or how far you can kick a ball, if you can’t man-up and just play the game already then you are not a tough athlete.

On the other hand, I feel strongly that there is a fine line. While soccer players are on the lower end of the spectrum for testosterone, Rugby players are at the exact opposite with their almost crazy mindset. I wouldn’t want a rugby player in my life either.

Without further adieu, I give you my customized Testosterone Scale of Sports:

Saturday, April 24, 2010 Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Monday, April 19, 2010 Monday, April 12, 2010 Sunday, April 11, 2010