Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like... summer???

It's midweek, and I am at home making pasta and spinach salad. I haven't quite gotten over the novelty of a gas stove, and am slowly learning how to use it without burning the food – and without flicking the gas on five times before it lights. I've got it down to two or three now! And because it's necessary to wash salad here, I got a salad spinner – and it's a ridiculous one. I don't have to turn or wind the salad manually; it has a “one-pull” that winds it up for me like a spinning top – and a single button to tell it to stop spinning! Ah, little things.
– Break for dinner –

Last night was our company's customer Christmas function. It turned out really well, and I was pleased with everything from how the d├ęcor looked to how the people enjoyed themselves to how I handled greeting people and making announcements with the microphone. I had help preparing, but since company events are part of my job description, I did a lot of work and was the “host” of the function. So it felt really good to see everything come together. Now I just have to do it all again next week in Melbourne! Jody and I and two other coworkers are flying there for a day and a night, along with our bosses, to attend the other main branch's party and to work with the Melbourne crew for a day. It will be good to meet people I've spoken to and emailed. I have already met one, JC, and he and I are getting along well – which is great since he's the lead marketing guy in Melbourne, so we'll be working together a lot.

Now that it's December I'm listening to Christmas music, and Ave Maria is playing – which reminds me of a funny story someone told me about their mother singing along to it in the kitchen, and this someone decided they would distract their mother from singing, for the betterment of the other people in the house. Nice going, you - you know who you are. Now I'll never be able to think of that song without thinking of your mother and her singing.

The other weird thing about Christmas music, and indeed Christmas in Australia in general; is that I keep hearing about fireplaces and snow and cocoa and popped corn – none of which are seasonal here. People still wear Santa hats and give out stickers with snowmen on them, but it's just not the same. It doesn't feel like Christmas is coming. Not that I'm complaining (though I might be in January or February; I hear it gets much hotter) because it's wonderful to finally feel like I'm getting a summer- but it is disconcerting. I hope my music will help me get in a holiday mood. And maybe some baking. Jody brought his favourite cookie sheets all the way here, only to find they're too large to fit in most ovens! So we have to find some smaller ones before we make cookies. Though he did bake delicious blueberry muffins yesterday, and bring them to work, where they disappeared like moustaches at the end of Movember.

I know, I know. This blog post is totally random. But I'm told that people miss my randomness.

I miss little things, like watching the bunnies at UVic. Going for coffee at Timmy's late at night. Watching the people riding the #6 bus. Being excited when Thrifty's actually has salmon and cream cheese sushi in stock. Thrifty's, in general. Sales at Reitman's and Suzy Shier. Snickering at high schoolers who think it's cool to hang out in Wal-Mart. Giggling uncontrollably when passing the Little Caesar's by Wo-Mo. (If you don't know, sorry – you're going to have to wonder.)

Walking along the breakwater. Spotting deer in peoples' yards. Planning to go to the mainland, then remembering what a pain the ferry + BC Transit is and scrapping the idea. Checking what's playing at the Roxy but never going for the double feature. Going to Cinecenta instead, because the theatre and the popcorn have much more interesting names. Calling someone I've just seen and talking for an hour. Calling someone else and talking almost entirely in pop culture references and inside jokes.

So, if anyone is planning to come and visit, I need more time to find cool places to take you. All I've got so far is Darling Harbour, two shopping districts, one semi-decent bookshop and an ice cream parlour. But oh my word, is the ice cream ever fantastic. Jody and I cheaped out on dinner one night and splurged on dessert. The place is called Passionflower, and all they do is gelato, ice cream and sorbet. With fruit. With brownies. With chocolate. With their signature passionfruit sauce. With practically anything decadent you could put with ice cream. And each creation has a name. Yes, it's expensive and yes, you'll try to tell yourself you should share – but you'll want one all to yourself.

There's a movie theatre near Passionflower, and I haven't been to the movies yet. Jody and I were waiting for our friend Mark (who used to work with Jody in Vic) to return from his vacation in Thailand – but he got waylaid because of the protesters that forced Bangkok Airport to close. He's back now, a week late, and he's tired but unharmed. So once he's over his exhaustion we're dragging him along to the new Bond flick. Like in South Africa, movies come out later here than in Canada, so I haven't seen Quantum of Solace, Australia, or Twilight – though it looks like I'll give Twilight a miss. Can't wait to see Bond, though – go Daniel Craig! Go Judi Dench! And then there's Hugh Jackman... Please, no spoilers.

As I have some time to myself this evening (Jody's at a conference downtown), I'm going to try to get in some beadwork. We finally have a level surface I can work on – the table and chairs we ordered from a rental place came yesterday, nearly a week later than planned. But it's here, and now we can eat like civilised people and I won't lose a pile of seed beads in the carpet.

Next up – a bookcase, an ironing board & iron, and a second living room chair. IKEA here we come! But really, the place we got is pretty nice, and it won't take much more to settle into it. Being so near to the office and downtown is a definite bonus, but we'll have to take care not to limit ourselves to two villages in all of Sydney.

My Macbook – which so far seems to have recovered from its cup of tea, aside from a tendency to get very hot – is telling me it is charged, so I'm going to put it to sleep and make some earrings. I'll post this in the morning when I get to the office. That's another little thing I miss – unlimited Internet at home!

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