My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

November 25, 2010

Hi friends!

How is everyone? I’m just checking in as a reminder to please check out my new blog

www.hedabovewater.com

because this one will be closing down at the end of the year! Also, if anyone has “Hed Down Under” on their blogrolls, first off, thank you-you’re kick ass! But also if you’d like to do a nice switcheroo and add the new one, that would be awesome too! Same goes for the button-except I don’t have a button up yet for Hed Above Water. Do’h! I hope to see ALL my readers pop on over and press the “follow” button there too. Thanks a bunch!

November 20, 2010

Jumping ship….come with me!

I hope you have all gotten a chance to read my last post, or else you may be wondering why I am closing this blog down, probably at the end of December. It’s because I am going home. December 10. 20 days from today. I’m excited and happy and joyful-except when I look at my hubs. Then I cry. A lot. I had to take a Xanax last night just to try and get some sleep-at that ended up being at 8am. Great. Broken schedule again.

J and I are fine. No, really! He NEEDS to be here right now. He is doing great at his job and resumed his coursework a few weeks ago and needs to finally finish that up. It’s for Networking, so I know (hope) that he can use his experience and education in California to get a nerd (uh, I mean tech) job somewhere. Now that I am not anchored to a manager job, we can move wherever the jobs take us as well. Being an hour or whatever away from my family doesn’t sound so horrible anymore.

I NEED to be home. I really don’t like that my mom is alone (okay technically not alone, but my brother and sister have families, and my stepdad is working his ass off to provide for my mom’s ever increasing medical bills and co-pays). She’s not using her car, so I can drive her to appointments in the am and work in the afternoon/pm. I’m gonna just scour every retail/food/service place in a 30 mile radius and apply for whatever I can get. I need to. I need to for my husband. For myself. For our future.

When we came over it was hella cheaper to get a round trip ticket (its so stupid that it’s less expensive than a one way), so I pushed our return all the way to May 28. I was able to bump mine up, but J’s is still there, so we will be seeing each other again then. 6 months. We’ve done 3 months, 4 months, and 2 months apart, so 6 will definitely be the longest we’ve been apart. I promise this week on my new blog to post how I met J.

Oh, my new blog! So yes, I wrote my bipolar one for my moods/emotions, and hed down under for my experience here. Last week you guys unanimously suggested I merge them, and instead I just made a new one…all hed, all the time. No sad blog. No travel blog. Just a me blog. I’m hoping that every single one of my lovely readers will go follow my new blog-the only thing after this post will be weekly posts telling everyone to get their booty over to my new blog! It’s a play on words. I’m clever.

www.hedabovewater.com

November 19, 2010

Changes.

This will be hard to write for a number of reasons, but I need to get it out there. I haven’t spoken to anyone about this except for about five of my friends and my mom-even my other family members don’t know about it. I’m going home.

The main reason I kept it a secret is because the only thing I succeed at is failing, and this of course is no exception. I see everyone shaking their heads in disappointment because I chose to leave this “Shangri-la” or however its imagined in their heads to come home, to move in with my parents and try and start over. At first I was so disappointed with myself I couldn’t even think. I stayed in bed with J crying until I cried myself to sleep. The next day was a fog, and I kept re-thinking my decision and whether it was right, if it was wrong, what am I going to do, etc. But I spent that night with J, and it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a year.

There are some people that can travel the world and pop in and see their family when they choose. I’ve learned I’m not one of them. Before I left, my healthy mom had to go in for a knee replacement that was supposed to improve in 8-12 weeks. That was 4 months ago, and she’s gotten worse. She can’t drive, has to take pain medication every day all the time, and has nerve damage from the block they put in during the surgery. She has gone from working 40 hours as a medical assistant to not being able to go to the grocery store. My 84-year-old grandpa drives a half hour out of his way to take her three times a week to her physical therapy so my stepdad doesn’t have to miss work. I hate being over here and helpless. And my grandpa, that’s something else altogether. I can’t call him while I’ve been here. I think of him, or hear his voice, and sob uncontrollably because I miss him so much and was convinced that when I left it would be the last time I saw him. I never contemplated my mother being ill, and now she is, and I need to be with her and do anything that I can to help.

When I told one of my best friends, the first question he asked was “so, are you going to file for divorce when you come home?” and the answer is no. Hell no. We’ve been apart for many months before, and it has only made us stronger. J is staying in Australia to finish his schooling and to save money. He’ll be back in the States at the end of May…but we’re taking things one step at a time. I just want to see him happy, comfortable, and fulfilled. If that means he has to stay in Australia for good, I will understand. I’ll be devastated, but I understand now how important your country, your culture, your way of life is to your entire being. And Australia is not my way of life. It never will be, even if we were in the heart of a big city somewhere.

At this point I don’t give a damn what people might think (which is a HUGE thing for me). I don’t care if they think I’m a loser, or a quitter. There are so many things that aren’t written down in this blog, so many behind the scenes that people don’t know about, so I’m throwing my hands up and just saying f*ck it. I would still like to blog. I wrote this blog as an expat, and I would like to start a new one as kind of like my new start. New blog, new start etc. I hope you will join me there (I really, really hope you do!!!) and as soon as I’m done tweaking it, I will give you all the blog address. I also just wanted to say thanks for reading, whether or not this blog is the end of the line for you or if you choose to carry on with me.

November 17, 2010

M.I.A.

I don’t know when I’ll be writing again. I guess I failed my NaBloPoMo challenge, but I’m used to not following through so meh. I may or may not be reading my blog lists in the meantime so I wish everyone well and will see you soon. Hopefully.

November 16, 2010

YouTube Tuesday.

Oh, thank Jeebus it’s YouTube Tuesday. I’ve been in bed all day suffering from a migraine/withdrawal side effects. I’m okay. I just have this wicked knot in the back of my skull/neck that is getting so bad it spasms now. I told J I think I finally need to see the doc for it since muscle relaxers and ice seem to not work anymore.

I have all these ideas for videos to post, but last weekend the 4 Nations Rugby Cup was on featuring the Australia Kangaroos (oi!) and the New Zealand Kiwis, so you know my family was glued to the TV, watching the two teams battle it out (NZ won-boo!). I’ve posted before about how CRAZY Australians are for their sport and how bad ass Rugby is, but nothing epitomizes the bad-assness of Rugby like the Haka. The Haka is a traditional dance from the Maori people of New Zealand, and all of the national NZ rugby (and other sports) teams perform the Haka before any international match. Like I said it’s pretty bad ass, and I never knew about it until I came to Australia and saw it being performed. I found this YouTube video, and there just ain’t nothin’ wrong with a bunch of manly men (and one freaking hot shirtless one!) dancing, shouting, and generally trying to intimidate the hell out of another team! Enjoy!

 

November 15, 2010

My month…so far.

I decided to post a reality check today because it has been a while since I’ve blogged about life and what not. This month I’ve been more up and down than a roller coaster with my moods.

The last time I talked about seeing a shrink was about three weeks ago, here. I didn’t really like the guy-I think the main reason is because when I was trying to tell him my history with depression, he interrupted me and said “we don’t need to get in to the past”. Um, what? Don’t you need to know why I’m here and why I’m constantly having to see a therapist at least once a year? Plus he seemed…bored. I mean, bipolar isn’t thrilling or anything, but maybe you can act like you’re interested in what I have to say? Other than your friends or family, a psychologist is someone you have to basically pour your heart out to-your secrets, your fears, your struggles. If you don’t mesh well with them it’s really hard to have the drive to go back to them.

I saw the therapist again on the 30th, and I still felt uncomfortable. He tells me “when you get a bad thought, I want you to visualize the thought; then I want you to say ‘thank you brain’ and push the thought out of your head”. Um, if I could do that Doc I wouldn’t be paying you $80 a freaking visit, okay? After the psychologist we were off to Townsville to see my first visit with the psychiatrist. He was amazing. He sat with me and J for two hours just talking. Talking about us, our history, my history, why we’re back in Australia, my medication history…everything the psychologist should be asking.

He wrote out a huge game plan for the next six weeks regarding switching over drugs and keeping a mood diary (isn’t that what blogging’s for?). He explained that antidepressants tend to have a shelf life in the body. What may work perfectly for a year may putter out until you get no benefit from it anymore. I’ve told him the last year I have basically lost the will to live, and I gain no pleasure from anything anymore. He defined it as anhedonia, which is “an inability to experience pleasurable emotions from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction or sexual activities” (I love Wiki so much). It’s very common for bipolar people to experience this, and it has to do with the chemicals in your brain that “reward” you not functioning properly. I’ve been in this episode for so long that I almost feel like the chemicals in my brain that keep you upbeat and happy have finally dried up for good. Seriously. And if I don’t have happiness, passion, enthusiasm, motivation, anything, then what’s the point?

The psychiatrist switched me over from Elavil (a run-of-the-mill antidepressant) to Pristiq, a fairly new antidepressant. He also wants me to stop taking Lamictal-which is an off label mood stabilizer-when it runs out and switch to Seroquel. We’re talking about the big guns here, people. You know how, say, when you hear someone’s an alcoholic you feel one way, but when you hear someone’s a heroin addict it’s like a whole new level of addiction? Well, Seroquel is heroin. Not literally. It’s an antipsychotic. I read that and thought, WTF? I’m not psychotic! I’m sad!!! It’s uses are for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, mania, all the big-time mood disorders. It also has such a tranquilizing effect that it’s now being used as a recreational drug, apparently. My sad brain says gimme gimme gimme if it’s going to make me feel better but my rational brain says am I that far gone that I need an antipsychotic? It’s really that bad, folks. Don’t let the happy nature of my writing fool you-I write to let things out, and I write because it does make me feel better. I’m also a good person, so I hope my kindness and compassion come out on paper. I’m not some emo that always wants to write about how shit their life is.

So two weeks ago I started the Pristiq-a half a pill. The first few days I was really jittery and tense, which is a standard side effect from antidepressants. That week I also gained a gnarly head cold, so I was feeling the ill effects of that more than I was any medicine-related ones. At the end of the week I was throwing up, miserable with a migraine, and having a hard time sleeping. Again, not really blaming it on the depression or the medicine. This past Thursday I was awake at 4am, sitting on the edge of my bed and sobbing into a tissue so I wouldn’t wake my husband up.Why? I don’t know. The usual reasons. When J woke up I told him all I want to do is go home. He told me with his work and just starting school again we couldn’t go back to the States just now and I told him no. I need to go home. Alone. Without going into a lot of detail we understood that this didn’t mean the end of us, that it would only be temporary, but I told him that if I leave, I don’t think I’d be coming back to Australia.

I called Qantas to change my ticket and the only days they had available to leave were December 1 and January 13. December 1? You mean I’d be able to spend Christmas at home, with my family? I’d also miss our 2-year wedding anniversary which lands on December 7. We sat down with the family and they agreed that me going home may be the right thing to do, and that it was our decision. I went into the bedroom alone to cry and try and figure out what to do. That night after crying as much as humanly possible I told the family I wouldn’t be leaving in December. That we made a decision to come over and this needs to be the first time in my life where I actually make a decision and stick with it, like a grown up.

Over the weekend things have been okay. I struggled with another headache from crying too much and Friday I was up all night so sick I couldn’t even get my eyes to focus. Saturday mum took J and I to a school fete (more on that in a couple days). That night I made a decision to go off my medications. All of them. Fully. Much to the disapproval of my husband (and I’m assuming my mom when she reads this-hi mom). I need to clean out my system. I need to just be ME for a while. Anyone who doesn’t have depression may not know what I’m talking about, but it pretty much means I need to give my brain a break. Give it some time to hopefully repair (if that’s even possible). I’m making sure in the morning to take fish oil supplements, multi-vitamins and minerals so my body isn’t depleted. I’m also tapering the Lamictal to half a dose since I’ve been on it so long and don’t want any wicked withdrawal side effects (which can be truly worse than the depression itself). My husband is monitoring me, and after two days I feel fine. Not like happy or cured or anything, I mean I’m not wacky or losing it. I’ll keep you posted.

One thing I’d like to ask my readers…I started my bipolar blog in May of this year so I could cope and hopefully get crap off my chest that bothers me in regards to depression and anxiety. I started this blog as a way to cope with the massive change of moving to a new country. My thoughts all along were to keep them separate, as I assumed I’d get people who could identify with depression on one blog and expats and travellers to Australia on this blog. Now I know I have a wonderful, colourful collection of readers who come from all parts of the world, who just enjoy reading what I write (for which I’m eternally grateful). Would any of you have a problem with me merging the two? I mean, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the two apart as kind of a yin and a yang. If that is okay I would like to move some of my bipolar blog posts over here (they are more like stories and anecdotes, not poems about the endless abyss or anything). I’d love your opinion.

You know what’s funny? It stopped raining today after a weekend of crazy rain. As I started typing it began to pour. Australia weather is all or nothing, I swear. It doesn’t just start to sprinkle and eventually gets harder and harder-it’s like out of nowhere the sky opens up and pisses down rain (my husband’s favourite expression). And I love it. Rain calms me. Makes me happy. Happy.

November 14, 2010

Hed’s Sunday Shout-Out.

I really need to keep a thought diary by my bed-last night I literally had about twelve ideas in my head for blogs this month. Today is the 14th, and I have written 14 blogs. Woo hoo! On track with my NaBloPoMo! So yesterday we were driving around and a top ten list popped into my head. Lists are fun! Today’s Shout-Out is:

Top Ten best Tim Burton movies.

Tim Burton is one of the best directors OF ALL TIME! But I do have to add a disclaimer: there are a few movies I have not seen of his (!!!), so this list is only my guideline! So far. Maybe I’ll have to revise it in six months when I’ve watched his entire filmography. (PS all facts are due to the wonder that is Wikipedia!)

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I had to give this the lowest spot on my list due to the fact that the original (titled “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”) with Gene Wilder is one of my favourite movies, and sometimes you can’t mess with perfection (even Wilder opposed the remake). With Burton at the helm of the updated version, you get the same colourful whimsy as you did with the original, and the same creepy vibe the movie has-even with it being a “children’s movie” (and book, bless Roald Dahl for being eccentric). If you’ve never seen either movie you must live under a rock, and I recommend the 1971 version, or reading the book first (get some culture!).

9. Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Oh, glorious Johnny Depp. He has contributed to seven of Burton’s films, and never seems to disappoint in any of them. In the movie version of the musical, Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a skilled barber who is falsely imprisoned by an evil judge (I love you, Alan Rickman) that has the hots for Barker’s wife. The rest of the plot you will have to watch for yourself, because the story itself is interesting and really dark for a musical. My husband didn’t care for it at all, but I think the equation is perfect: sexy dark Johnny Depp, crazy ass Helena Bonham Carter, and GORGEOUS atmosphere-how can you go wrong?

I would so wear her outfit!

8. Mars Attacks! This movie is goofy and hilarious. It takes on the same wacky vibe as “Beetlejuice” (more on that movie in a bit), and is basically a parody of 1950’s sci-fi movies. It had some A-list stars in it as well (like Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Remington Stee-um, Pierce Brosnan). The whole movie is fun to watch, and I still crack up when I hear the song that ends up being the martians’ weakness:

Okay, not the actual song, but this version cracked me up!

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas. Okay, to some of you, putting “Nightmare” at number 7 is blasphemy. This movie is a cult classic, and can be considered as the staple of Burton’s work. I just find other movies of his to be better. Don’t shoot me! The movie is a stop-motion film (one of the first that was in wide release) about Halloween Town, a land filled with ghouls, goblins, and other scaries just doin’ their thang. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, gets bored of the same antics that happen every year, and while walking in the forest discovers a portal to Christmas Town, a land filled with, well, Christmas. He decides to go back to Halloween Town to tell everyone what he has found, and stages a coup to overtake Santa. It’s a pretty good film, and Jack Skellington’s voice is Danny-freakin'-Elfman, the God of all things musical in Tim Burton-land!

Yeah, this movie has a hard-core following.

6 and 5. Batman Returns and Batman. I’m sorry, but screw “The Dark Knight” and George Clooney and Robin and all the other crap that isn’t something that Tim Burton had a hand in. Burton butted heads with the big wigs over at Warner Brothers to make sure that Batman was his vision, and he succeeded-the movie was the first in film history to gross $100 million in its first ten days at the box office. Since he could be relied on to make a kick-ass film, Burton was granted complete control of “Batman Returns”. Both of these movies (in my opinion) really portray Batman as how I see him: an average Joe Moneybags-cum-vigilante in the dark, crime-ridden world as Gotham City. And Jack Nicholson kicks ass as The Joker-yeah, Heath Ledger did too, but Jack did it in a darkly comical Tim Burtonesque way!

4. Sleepy Hollow. I love this movie. Love it. It’s eerie. It’s a period piece. Christopher Walken is the Headless Horseman. That’s awesome all by itself. The story is about Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp, yet again) as a constable from New York City sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some brutal murders that have been happening in the town-and all of the victims have been decapitated. The movie is dark and somewhat gory, what with the beheadings and all-and Crane uses some screwed up new techniques to examine the bodies that make you feel all creepy when watching it. And my favourite dress of all time is the one Christina Ricci wears at the end of the film:

3. Edward Scissorhands. This is Burton’s first movie with Johnny Depp, and it cemented him as an actual movie star, not just a teen idol. The movie is about an Avon lady who stumbles upon a lonely young “man” with scissors as hands. Yep. Anyway, she takes him into her household where he tries his damndest to fit in with the cookie cutter standards of suburbia.

At first he is embraced, then becomes a scapegoat after he is talked into breaking into a house by Jim, the boyfriend of Kim, the daughter of the Avon lady that he also happens to have a soft spot for. Let me get off topic a sec: Anthony Michael Hall as the mean jock, WTF? What happened to skinny Farmer Ted?

Okay, so…Edward and Kim fall in love, he has to leave town because the neighbourhood is out for his blood, and she never forgets him. It’s just a beautiful story. My nephew, who was probably seven at the time, watched it with my mom and couldn’t stop talking about the movie. I looked everywhere trying to find it to buy for him, but it was sold out everywhere. I decided to fuel his Tim burton fire and buy him the next movie instead.

2. Beetlejuice. There is not one thing wrong with this movie. It is a freaking comedy masterpiece. This has to be one of the first movies that had this sort of odd premise, because I can’t think of any movie before it that was more eclectic in its nature, except maybe an art house film. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are the Maitlands, a boring townie couple who die in a car crash. Afterward, they walk into their house as if nothing had happened until they realize there are some really weird things going on-like when they try and leave their house a sandworm tries to eat them. They are ghosts, and they don’t know the first thing about being ghosts. Enter the Deetzes, a family from the big city, to turn their house and world upside down by redecorating it and all in all being truly obnoxious. The parents don’t know the Maitlands are in the house-up in the attic-but their goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder!) does. The Maitlands stumble upon a “Bio-exorcist” named Betelguise (Michael Keaton), who specializes in scaring away the living. Madness and hilarity ensue. Who can forget “Day-O”? My favourite part of the movie is when the Maitlands ask Beetlejuice about his qualifications:

1. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I pretty much can recite this movie by heart. Who didn’t want to live in Pee-Wee’s house and live Pee-Wee’s life after watching this? The movie is simple: Someone steals Pee-Wee’s bike and he goes on an adventure to find it. Every scene is golden. The Mr. T cereal? “I know you are but what am I”? The basement interrogation scene? The alamo? Simone? “I’m a loner. A rebel”? Large Marge? The hobo on the train? The dinosaurs? The chase scene with Twisted Sister? The “Tequila” dance? (You KNOW you dance like Pee-Wee when you hear the song!) This is Tim Burton’s first feature-length film and it’s also his first collaboration with Danny Elfman.  You just have to watch it. You have to! Get some kids, pop popcorn and buy some Milk Duds and watch it. Maybe take a few shots first to get into the silly spirit. I’ll end this list with a great scene. Until tomorrow!

November 13, 2010

Free Write, Part 2.

Here’s the rest of the story…read the first part here.

Scene from a Starbucks

Lucie’s eyes opened. She raised her hand to tap Paul on the shoulder but quickly jerked her hand away. What do I say? She started to feel ill. She closed her eyes again briefly, took a deep breath, and said, “I’d know that big head anywhere!” Paul slowly turned around. His eyes widened when he realized it was Lucie. “Hey. You’re home. How was New York?” No hug, okay, okay, Lucie thought. “Hey! Yeah, I’ve been back for about three weeks now. New York was amazing. I mean, it’s so different from California! How are you?”

“I’m doing well. Business has been slowly picking up, so I’ve been keeping busy. Are you living with your mom right now?”

“No, no. I found a condo online while I was in New York and finalized everything over there. The wonders of the Internet, huh?” Lucie nervously giggled. “That’s cool,” Paul said. “You look great. Hey, they opened that sushi place you liked in L.A. about a mile away from here. It’s pretty good…oh, hold on a sec” Paul turned away from Lucie to order his drink. Lucie’s stomach was more jumpy than a gymnast. He looks the same! He looks like…Paul! He smells like Paul. Oh God, I’ve missed him so much, Lucie thought. Paul stepped out of the line to wait for his drink and Lucie ordered her pumpkin latte. She stepped out of line and watched Paul blow on his coffee. He glanced over at her and smiled. Lucie took a silent deep breath and walked closer to Paul. “I haven’t had sushi in ages! I hadn’t found a place in New York that was as good as the ones back home. I’m not really doing anything tonight, how about you come with me? That way we can get a bunch and share!”

“Oh, that sounds good, but I’m running late to pick up Jenny from my mom’s. I was dying for coffee so I made a quick pit stop,” Paul replied. Lucie laughed and didn’t miss a beat. “Oh my God, you finally got a dog! How did you talk your roommates into letting you finally get one?” Paul briefly looked away and said, “no, Lucie. Jenny is my daughter. My mom watches her when Melissa and I work during the day”. Lucie’s smile subsided. She felt like her knees were going to give out. Bile rose in her stomach, and her trembling hands almost made her drop her drink. “Oh, you have a daughter. Wow. How old?”

“Two months tomorrow! Here, hold my coffee and I’ll show you a picture.” As Paul handed Lucie his coffee and reached for his wallet, Lucie did the math in her head. We broke up in November, so it’s been thirteen months-minus a two month old and a nine month pregnancy-TWO MONTHS??? He couldn’t move in with me but got someone pregnant after two months? Did five years mean anything to him? Lucie couldn’t believe what she had heard. She visualized popping both lids off the drinks and pouring them on Paul. He grabbed the coffee back from her and flipped open his wallet to show Lucie a picture of the most precious baby she had ever seen. Jenny had tiny blonde curls, even at two months. Her blue eyes glistened, and she had a joyous smile. Lucie glanced at the picture next to Jenny’s and it was a picture of a man in a tuxedo and a woman in a wedding dress. The man was Paul. “Oh, you’re…married. Congratulations”. Lucie was doing her best to disguise the quiver in her voice.

“Oh, yeah. Melissa and I have been married for…gosh, um…six months or so? She’s the one who knows all the dates and crap. But hey, let me give you my number and we can meet up soon for sushi. Melissa is still breastfeeding so she won’t go near the stuff-“ Lucie interrupted him and forcefully handed him his coffee. “Shit!” Lucie exclaimed. “Oh my God you just reminded me that I do have plans tonight! A…meeting to discuss Christmas budgets. It was really nice seeing you, Paul. Bye!” Lucie ran out the door into the now pouring rain and rushed towards her car. She hopped in, fumbled for her keys and sped away.

As she turned onto her street, the pain she felt became overwhelming. She pulled over, stopped the car and sobbed uncontrollably. She sat and cried so long her pumpkin latte steamed up the windows, letting no one see in.

November 12, 2010

Awards and Questions.

I owe you all a Friday Flick! Today I went through all of my blogs and found that Mynx from Dribble... gave me an “Honest Scrap” award. Woo hoo!

And Skippy over at I Make Soap tagged me for a four question survey. First off, the rules of accepting the “Honest Scrap” award is to list ten honest things about myself, so I have decided to incorporate both. Aren’t I practical? First, Skippy’s questions:

1.  You are having a dinner party for 10 people - who would you have [living or dead]? Let’s assume first off that everyone would get along, because the people I have in mind would probably not be the first to sit next to one another. Wait, why assume anything? I get to pick dead people!

  • Marilyn Manson-can you imagine the questions you could ask him?
  • Amelia Earhart-I’d want to get down to the bottom of the question that has been asked for years-are we or aren’t we related?
  • Adolf Hitler-no, I’m not a racist or a Nazi. I would just like to speak to him after the fact and see if, looking back, he still feels justified for his actions.
  • My grandma-just to see her face one more time.
  • Britney Spears-so I could poison her food.
  • Angelina Jolie-I’d love to pick her brain about life and humanity and sex and love and tattoos.
  • Jemaine Clement-he would be a blast, I’ll bet.
  • God-duh.
  • George Bush-see Hitler comment.
  • My cat Sam in human form-what? If I can pick dead people, I can pick my cat!

2.  Have you ever had something bad happen that turned out to be a blessing in disguise? I think everything happens for a reason. There have been so many times where I have quit or passed on a job and I hear shortly after they have closed down, or filed for bankruptcy, or something like that. I think all bad things usually have some sort of clarifying moment.

3.  What do you consider your greatest achievement to date? Ugh, I’ve been too down in the dumps lately to answer that question confidently. I think I am a good manager (when I apply myself). I think I am a good person (even though I’m not really “good” at anything specific). Achievements? I’m not sure. I made it to 30.

4.  What is the best part of your day? When I’m asleep. Seriously. Sleep is the best feeling in the world.

Now on to ten honest things about me.

5. I once won $5084.62 on a keno machine. I had put a $20 in it and hit the jackpot with $5 left.

6. I was handpicked at 8 to feed the dolphins during a demonstration at Sea World.

7. I have never had hair longer than my shoulders. Every time it gets to the stage where I can put it in a ponytail, I have the urge to chop it all off. A month after my wedding (the longest it ever has been so I could have an updo), I cut it all off again.

8. I buy shoes a size larger than my foot because I hate the feeling of tight shoes. Oh, and I can’t stand socks-the ribbing on the toes bothers me so much that when I wear socks I have to fold the tops over. I’m weird.

9. I met my husband playing World of Warcraft (SO EMBARRASSING TO TYPE THAT TO THIS DAY!!!).

10. I have a brother named Jamie Lee and a sister named Jaime Lee and they are not related (no that’s not a riddle).

I am going to pass this award on to four people, and I am going to give them four questions to answer as the stipulation:

  1. What is one food that you want to try before you die?
  2. If you had one day to spend a million bucks, where would you spend it?
  3. What band (any era, alive or dead) would you want to see live?
  4. If you could change one part of yourself through plastic surgery, what would it be?

And here are the award winners:

Skippy Mom at I Make Soap-she gives me hope (hey, that rhymed!). And she doesn’t have to answer the questions if she doesn’t want to since she already was tagged. Just the 10 honest things will do :)

Dani-Q at The Danique Chronicles-every subject she writes about is interesting!

Jeff at Content Unrelated-every blog he writes is pure gold.

Free Flying at Tickets for Two-even with my intense fear of flying, I love her blog. Love love love! Her adventures are amazing.

Oh, and part two of "Scene from a Starbucks" is tomorrow!

November 11, 2010

Free Write.

I got this idea from The Adorkable Ditz, and I’m glad I wrote it all out yesterday because I just don’t have the strength to write today.

Scene from a Starbucks

Lucie pulled up to the Starbucks near her house. It was a particularly cold December day, and the coastal breeze didn’t help with the chill she was already feeling. She had only been back in her hometown for three weeks, and there was a lot of unfinished business she felt needed attending to. Nothing a pumpkin latte couldn’t fix, she thought. Lucie grabbed the cashmere scarf sitting on the passenger seat, wrapped it around her neck, and got out of her car. The mist in the air almost guaranteed that it would be raining soon.

She opened the door to Starbucks and got into the pretty long line. In front of her was a man about the same height as her that looked very familiar. Lucie shook her head and thought, there is just no way. After about thirty seconds the curiosity got the best of her so she got on her tip toes and slightly tilted her body forward to look closer at the back of the man’s neck. Two identical moles, staring back at her like eyes. It was Paul. There was no doubt about it. A rush of emotions flooded Lucie, and she turned to leave, but as she turned she realized a line had formed behind her. She turned back to face forward and froze. Do I say something? Do I act like nothing happened? Almost a year had passed since she had even spoken to Paul, and although she always had ideas in her mind about what to say to him, she could never bring herself to say them, even when he was so far away and she missed him like crazy. At that moment “Lilac Wine” by Nina Simone faded into the coffee house speakers, and she briefly closed her eyes and thought about the last time she had spoken to Paul.

“Listen to me. I literally have ONE WEEK to give my decision. I need your help! I need your advice, please! I need you to tell me if I am making the right choice!” Lucie’s voice was trembling in frustration as she pleaded with Paul. He muttered back, “I can’t tell you how to live your life. You’ve been going on and on about getting this promotion for over a month, and now you have it. What is there to give advice on?” Lucie looked over at him and he was sitting on his couch watching a documentary. He wasn’t even making eye contact with her. This made her very angry. “Paul, damn it! This is the biggest decision of my life, and you’re watching a TV show? What the hell is that about? Don’t you want me to stay? Don’t you love me?” Paul stood up and walked toward Lucie. “You know how I feel, but this isn’t about me. What do you want?”

“You know what I want Paul. What I’ve always wanted. It’s been five years. I’m not asking you for a ring. I don’t want babies. Why can’t we just move in together? I mean, I’m over here most nights and when I’m not here you’re at my place. What’s the difference?”

“There is a big difference, Lucie. Moving in is a commitment, and I’m not ready to give that to you. To anyone. I mean we’re only 25. That’s nothing. I’ve had three girlfriends in my entire life, and I haven’t even seen the world. I don’t feel like I can truly give you what you want when I don’t even know what I want. What I do know is I’m not ready for any of this. I’m not ready for a house, or babies, or to be someone’s husband”. Lucie couldn’t understand how to get him to realize how much she loved him. “Why am I not good enough, Paul? Why can’t I just be enough? You’ve thought I’ve been enough for five years, Paul. Five years! I’ve given you everything I have to give. You are the one for me. Why can’t you see that?”

“I do see that, Lucie. But I’m just not ready. I like things the way they are”. Paul put his hands on Lucie’s shoulders and looked her square in the eye. “You need to do what’s best for you now, Lucie. Not for me.” This infuriated Lucie. “How can you say that? YOU’RE WHAT’S BEST FOR ME!!! That’s it, Paul. That’s it. I’ve done everything you’ve ever asked for. Everything! Now I have the chance of a lifetime and you don’t even seem to care! I’m done Paul. Done. I am going to accept the job in New York. I am going to leave in two weeks. I’m not going to call you or see you. This is it, do you understand me? If you change your mind and realize what I mean to you, give me a call.” Lucie grabbed her coat and headed towards the door. As she grabbed the handle she broke down and started to sob. She turned to Paul. “I love you so much. More than you’ll ever know. All I want is for us to try. What’s so wrong with that?” She turned away and slammed the door.

 

Part two on Saturday…

November 10, 2010

This is what two days of “catch up” looks like.

My two-day migraine debacle kept me from commenting and reading my blogs, and I literally read every single blog on my list every day. I’m anal and feel like if I miss one post I’m out of the loop. See all those browser tabs? Yeah, that’s all of you!

Untitled

That’s all I got for today, I’m too itchy to concentrate-7 new mosquito bites. My husband bombed our bedroom and lounge area, so I’m a little light headed from the bug spray as well!

November 09, 2010

Australia has turned me into a baby.

I think I’m in a predicament, fellow readers. To be honest, every day here is a predicament in one way or another: to stay or not to stay. Of course 95% of me says stay, mainly because I love my husband, but the 5% eats away at me all the time. There’s a blog I read from an expat based in Sydney that gets to go back to the States three times a year. Three!!! If I was able to see my friends and family every few months none of this would be a problem…but I’m afraid that if I leave I may not come back. I think so many people think I’m on vacation, or living the dream, but I don’t think of it that way. My husband and I are just trying to get by and we were lucky to have a loving, supportive family (at both ends of the world) willing to help us out when they were in a place to do so. I wish I could do the same one day for my friends and family struggling back home.

Anyway, here’s the issue: In February my in-laws (who I live with) are temporarily moving down near Brisbane for a work-related contract. My husband is jazzed-we get the place all to ourselves. I don’t want to have it all to ourselves! I’ve been here nine weeks. Nine. I still have a hard time calculating the oven temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. At least once a week I hear a strange new noise thumping or chirping a little too close for comfort to our bedroom window. My husband works at night as well, so most of the time I will be alone in a still strange house in a still strange land.

Mum and dad are awesome, by the way. They turned my husband’s old room into our “lounge” room with a TV, two chairs, a table and a computer desk and we use my sister-in-law’s (who lives in New Zealand) room as our bedroom-complete with our own bathroom. It’s literally a closed-off section of the house, and it’s like our own little place. I’m antisocial. Always have been. So I tend to spend a lot of time upstairs alone. Not because I hate my family or anything, it’s just that I’m comfortable up here. I’ve tried to make an effort by getting the fam to do game nights (last Friday I kicked some serious ass on Scrabble and won-twice!) and offering to cook or clean the dishes when I’m feeling up to it. So it’s completely ironic (is this the right word? I hate using “ironic” because I never know if I’m getting the definition right) that I’m freaking out that they are going away because I’ll be really, really alone.

Reason number one? The cooking. I’m not familiar with the kitchen, and get by on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and eat what’s on the table or make do for dinner. I have no interest in spending five weeks eating cup o’ noodles or McDonalds every day, yet I’m dreading having to cook up meals when everything is so different from what I’m used to. Number two? February is still the summertime (I have yet to wrap my head around summer in February as well). Summer means bugs. A humid summer means LOTS of bugs, and they’re all trying to weasel their way into our cool, bountiful house. As we speak I’m looking at a gecko on the wall. There is a lizard in my room, and to the rest of my family it ain’t no thing. There is a lizard on my wall. A lizard! The moths here are the size of giant butterflies, and the spiders….*shivers* I’m not even afraid of spiders, but if a Huntsman (which is common here and tends to hang around houses) ever rolls up in my bathroom I swear to God, I may never pee again.

Number three? I am so freaked out by this place that when my husband isn’t home, I have to sleep with the light on. The light in the hallway that connects from the lounge to our bedroom is always on. When it gets dark I have to shut all the windows for fear of noises and creepy crawlies. I won’t set foot downstairs after mum has gone to bed. Australia has turned me into a nine-year-old. Lastly, the main reason I don’t want to be here alone is because I want to go with them! They are going to be an hour away from a city. A real city! A city with Starbucks! Mexican food! People!!! I’ve seriously considered asking them if I could tag along with them. Brisbane is the city my husband wants to move to the most when he’s done with school (*cough Melbourne cough*), so maybe I can use the excuse that I’m scoping the city out with my own eyes. That’s a good reason, right? Yeah, I’ll miss J…I’ll send him a postcard ha ha.

look! a REAL city!!!

Thanks for your well wishes about the migraine of death yesterday. I’m happy to say it finally dissipated around 10pm last night, so I have A LOT of blog reading and commenting to catch up on. Until tomorrow, friends!

November 08, 2010

YouTube Tuesday…on Monday.

My “Sunday migraine” has carried over so badly today that I’ve named it “Massive Migraine Monday”. I’ve taken four muscle relaxers (the doc has seen that when I sometimes get migraines its in my neck muscles), three migraine pills and one cold and sinus pill over the last two days and it’s still stabbing me in the temple. Nothing is working, but I made a commitment this month for NaBloPoMo so I will post a blog today…even if I am just phoning it in, folks.

I’d like to give respect to my seven (!!!) new followers this week, making my blog have a follower base of 30 on Blogspot and 33 on Facebook…woo hoo! Also I’ve gone over 4.5k viewers taking a gander at my blog so far. The 26th is my 3 month blog anniversary, so I’ll make a baby goal of 40 followers and 5k page views. If you have any readers or friends that may enjoy the crap I talk about, please lead them over this way. I’ll do the same, and all will be right with the world. Except this stupid migraine!

Tomorrow’s “YouTube Tuesday” was going to be a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” by the singer Lissie. She is an American folk rock artist, and her voice is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. She’s younger than me but sounds like she grew up on cigarettes and whiskey. It’s also the song I sent to Erica over at Recycled Fashion on our postcard exchange (you owe me a new song!). Quick disclaimer-it does have the “F” word in it, and as I am totally and completely fine with this word (and I probably use it more than “please” and “Thank you”), I know some may be listening with kids around or whatever. P.S. Got a song that you’re in love with at the moment? Send me a link-I LOVE adding songs and new artists to my Ipod! Enjoy.

November 07, 2010

Hed’s Sunday Shout-Out.

Hey all! In September, I had starting posting a blog theme titled “Hed’s Sunday Shout-Out”. What it was supposed to be about was, well, anything I liked-a spotlight on a specific blog, band, movie, TV show, food, etc. I also encouraged suggestions from readers to e-mail me if they wanted something to be highlighted. Because of the “30 Days of Truth” I strayed, but now I am back.

In high school, my best friend K was IN LOVE with Bush frontman/Gwen Stefani’s husband Gavin Rossdale. Like obsessed love. Whenever he would sing she would blurt out “AAH! I LOVE HIM!!!” whether we were in the car or in the middle of a grocery store. Ever since when I see someone who is smoking hot, I also get the urge to do that,  much to the dismay of my husband who is usually next to me when I say it. So I decided, since I have my “Sunday migraine” (something I always seem to get every other Sunday at least), to make this one pretty simple: An eye-candy festival of “Hed’s Top Ten Most Beautiful People”. Enjoy!

Number 10 (tie): Julian McMahon and Eric Dane. The battle of the TV doctors is on! When I first saw Julian McMahon (as Dr. Christian Troy on “Nip Tuck”), he was perfect. I have a serious weakness for men with dark hair and blue eyes. Plus, his swagger on the show was appealing. I almost forgot about him on the list until I went to post Eric Dane (who you may know as Dr. Mark Sloane or simply “McSteamy” on “Grey’s Anatomy”). Eric Dane’s character possesses many of the same qualities as Julian McMahon’s Troy: They are both womanizers, plastic surgeons, sensitive on the inside, and damn sexy! Judge for yourself:

                  Those eyes!                                                                                                                    That body!

EricDane-714159

 

Number 9: Joel McHale. This is one crush that my husband and I jointly share (sorry, babe). Joel is the host of E’s “The Soup”, and has that cool Conan O’Brien-like self depreciating humour. His hair is always perfect. Now he’s Jeff Winger on “Community”, which is freaking hilarious and random. There was one episode where he stripped down to his skivvies to play pool, and my jaw dropped to the floor. Holy crap, is that what was underneath his suit? Yes, please!

 

Number 8: Edward Cullen. No, that’s not an error-I said Edward Cullen, not Robert Pattinson. And yes, I am gay…thanks. Robert Pattinson is a scuzzy, awkward looking man who looks goofy in every single candid photo taken of him (go Google him, I dare you). Edward Cullen however, is that sexy pale sensitive guy that wants to sweep you off your feet (literally, as he can practically fly like Superman). I was sucked into the “Twilight” franchise like every other stupid girl, and didn’t understand the Rob Pat hype until I saw the movie. Oh, and while I’m on the “Twilight” bandwagon, I’ll throw in Jackson Rathbone (Jasper) for good measure.

 

Number 7: Christina Hendricks. I don’t think I’m wrong when I say she gets the pulses racing of every woman and man on the planet. Christina plays Joan Holloway on “Mad Men”, and her amazon figure completely compliments the cuts and styles of the fashion that was worn in the 1960’s (the time period the show is set in). My husband has full permission to drool over her (unlike MARIAH CAREY! Really J? It’s gross). She gets another thumbs up from me for embracing her curves and shape and not trying to “fix” it, as many women in Hollywood are pressured to do. She’s just…she’s fantastic.

 

Number 6 (tie): Trent Reznor and Tim McIlrath. People say “out with the old, in with the new”, so I put both men as equal value. Why? I’ll explain. If you don’t know who Trent Reznor is, you may have been living under a rock for the past twenty years. Trent is the creator of Nine Inch Nails, and I have been a NIN junkie since 1994. When I first laid eyes on this skinny, sexy goth-lookin’ dude I was sold. He changed my entire outlook on what “my type” was. Before then, I loved grunge-type guys: Long, scraggly hair; flannel shirts that smelled like smoke and big ol’ combat boots. Trent wore black. Tight black. Vinyl and leather black. He looked like if you got too close to him, he could bite. I was 14 then and I’m 30 now, and his effect on me has never waned (if anything, his music and looks have gotten better). To be honest, my son is named Trent. So there.

     Trent Reznor, 1991                                                                                                   Trent Reznor, 2009

Tim McIlrath, the lead singer of Rise Against, has also been someone who has changed “my type”-short, unkempt hair; tattooed, bracelets and rings; hoodie and jeans that smell like man and Converse shoes (pretty much my hubs without the tattoos and jewellery, sadly). His voice is grainy and sexy like Trent’s, and he looks like if you get too close to him, he would lecture you on the effects of global warming and red meat. My favourite quality of Tims? He has two different coloured eyes! You’ll see them at 0:10 into the video for “Ready to Fall”, and you can also listen to his sexy grainy man voice!

 

Number 5: Jemaine Clement. This happens to be a prime example of one of the people I go “AAH! I LOVE HIM!” to. You may know Jemaine as 1/2 of the comedy duo “Flight of the Conchords”, and if you’ve never seen or heard of this show, go Netflix it. Like, right now. I tell my husband all the time I want Jemaine’s kiwi babies (he’s from New Zealand, just in case the “kiwi” reference was lost on you). His pseudo-straight man shtick is spot on, and even though at first glance he may look awkward, something about him just does it for me. Watch the video and see for yourself.

That mouth! Those glasses! AAH! I LOVE HIM!!!

 

Number 4: My friends. A couple of my friends popped in my head when I was compiling this list, because their beauty is just striking. Ya for example. When I met her she was this dulce de leche beauty with crazy Diana Ross hair that I thought was WAY too pretty to ever consider having me as her friend. Imagine my surprise when, after getting to know her, I realized her beauty was even bigger on the inside then outside. She is seriously the exception to the rule.

Al was just born pretty. Her siblings all have the beautiful gene-blond hair, green eyes, and, let’s just say “model” teeth (inside joke). I always wished I would look like her as a teenager. She was one of those bitches that could wear no make-up, put on a ratty pair of jeans and a stinky top and still be admired from all the boys (not saying she actually DID that, but she could!). As we became BFF’s I was able to see even more qualities I strived for: ambition, determination, intelligence and independence. She now has an eight year old daughter who amazingly could be even more beautiful then Al-in the nicest way I say that! I’m waiting for all of her adult teeth to grow in if she has the trademark smile, since she already possesses the blond hair and green eyes!

Even her stinkin’ EYEBALL is pretty. Come on!

He’ll deny this and think that I put him on this list because I owe him money or something, but I have to add Windsor as well. When I first met him I was taken with his looks-he looked like a cross between my son’s father and Chris O’Donnell. He had green eyes, thick eyebrows, pouty lips and this amazing Romanesque nose (I’m into noses). For a million reasons we were not each other’s type, but in him I gained a friend who wasn’t pretentious, was sensitive, and has the best genuine laugh you’ll ever hear.

 

Number 3: Angelina Jolie. I don’t give a flying poo if you think she is a man-stealer or whatever, Angie is my hero! I have been crazy about her since the “Hackers” days, and always thought she was a bad ass for speaking her mind. My second tattoo was of the same dragon she had on her arm (long gone on her now since the days of “Billy Bob”).

As she grew, she became much more than a pretty face. She became a good will ambassador for UNICEF and went around the world highlighting social and political injustices. And she seems to have actually gotten more beautiful with age (if it’s even possible for her to get more beautiful). And my mom and my husband know that I would gladly “play for the other team” in her case!

 

Number 2: Jared Leto. Jared Leto can do no wrong. Can.Do.No.Wrong! When I look at him, my eyes literally hurt at the gorgeousness. I first saw him as Jordan Catalano on “My So-Called Life”, and was immediately smitten. A fine looking grungy teenager? Sign me up!

 

I followed him in movies like “Fight Club”, “Requiem for a Dream”, and “American Psycho”, and now I melt when I hear him singing in one of my favourite bands “30 Seconds to Mars”. I mean, honestly, can YOU find something wrong with this face? Huh? Can you!!!

Or, on that note…body?

Okay…I need a moment. Too much hotness making me weak in the knees…

 

Number 1: My son, niece and nephews. Yes, I’m totally biased. When my son T was born he was the cutest thing on the planet. I knew he was going to be a cute baby because his father was the most adorable baby I had ever seen (and I had hair so curly my mom couldn’t put a comb through it). He was bald from birth to about 18 months, so when his hair came in it was a sandy blond and curls started to show up. Plus, he always had this happy, mischievous grin where you know he was going to get in trouble but was so cute you couldn’t fully be mad at him for anything. He had that kind of hair until about eight years old, when this picture was taken. Now it’s boy hair, brown and thick and usually shaved. Oh, how I miss those curls!

My nephew J was born eight months after T and he looked like no one else in our family: Super white straight hair and these giant clear blue eyes. His face, though, looked just like my brother. At eleven he is only now starting to get darker blond hair. But I guarantee you he is going to be a massive heartbreaker in high school.

His little brother C was born three years later, and was a perfect mix of his mom and dad. He’ll be eight at the end of the year, and he has the sweetest demeanour of all the kids in our family. I’m pretty sure he is going to grow up to be the quintessential “tall, dark and handsome” man!

I think G has to take the cake though. G is my three year old niece from my sister, and I love this girl. She’s the first girl in our family after 21 years, so she is definitely spoiled by each and every one of us. She is a free spirit. She is forever smiling and happy and  always bubbling with energy. I miss my son, niece and nephews like crazy, but I’m secure in the knowledge that they are doing great.

So that’s my list. Who are your most beautiful and why? Also feel free to drop me a line at Hed.Mitchell@gmail.com if you have any suggestions for an upcoming “Sunday Shout-Out”!

November 06, 2010

This one’s for the ladies.

I woke up a little later than I have lately this morning because I was relishing the after-effects of a dream. In it, I was on a boat with my family and friends, and Christian Bale was on it and all over me. And I mean the current version of Hed, not some hot dream image of me. And I don’t even really fancy Christian Bale, but it was the Christian Bale from the “American Psycho” days, so…..rawr!

In the dream, he had promised to meet me at the hotel I was staying in after he spent some time with his friends to “finish what we started”, and I told him my checkout was at noon. He left, and I was absolutely convinced he wouldn’t show up. I woke up before I could find out the delicious or disastrous result!

The dream made me remember a blog from the other day about the best/worst kisses, so I lay in bed going through my mental slideshow of kisses. The worst kiss was also my first kiss. Now, you would think that anyone’s first kiss is bound to be awkward, right? Well,  this one was downright humiliating.

After the “Valentine’s Day Massacre” of sixth grade, I went home after school feeling defeated and miserable. The friends that lived around my house (who didn’t go to the same school as I did) were out playing, and there was a new boy with them: Brandon. He was cute, and I guess had quite the reputation of being a charmer with the girls (for you know, being twelve and all). He paid attention to me, and that was all I needed to get through the rest of this horrible day. The next day he came over and asked me out, which I excitedly said yes to.

We would sneak pecks all the time. All the time. Which then began a game of “the next time you kiss me, I’m going to make it a REAL kiss!”, which either of us failed to ever follow through on. One day my dad left us alone in his office, and I was feeling brave, so when Brandon kissed me, I opened my mouth and prayed I was doing it right. Within about half a millisecond, he pulled away and said, “that’s gross!” Suffice to say he broke up with me a few days later and I was crushed.

This morning I went in chronological order of all the first kisses I can recall in my life and whether or not I would classify them as the best ones I’ve ever had. I will forever remember the scene in “Pretty in Pink” where Andie and Iona are talking about the kiss Andie and Blaine shared the night before:

Iona: Does he have... strong lips?
Andie: How can you tell?
Iona: Did you feel it in your knees?
Andie: I felt it everywhere.
Iona: Strong lips.
Iona: I know I'm old enough to be his mother, but when the Duck laid that kiss on me last night, I swear my thighs just went up in flames! He must practice on melons or something.

(P.S. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!)

That’s pretty much how I gauge amazing first kisses. I’ll start.

Number 3- In early 2007, I had to move out of my apartment in Orange County because my roommate had to move to Texas on an emergency. One night about a week before we had moved out, we took a drive to Jack in the Box for a couple of milkshakes. In the car (and like every other day) we were joking about standard roommate sexual tension. In this case, I had just ended a short relationship with his best friend, so I didn’t really see him as sexual, so to speak. When we got home, I headed to my room and stopped. I turned to him and said, “you know what? Just kiss me. Let’s just break the tension. You’re moving anyway. Just kiss me”. He laid his lips on me and BAM it was on. He grabbed my shoulders and pushed me up against the hallway wall and was a great kisser. I still remember his lips tasted like cookies n’ cream. Mmm. It only lasted about fifteen seconds, but it seriously took my breath away. I went into my room and couldn’t sleep for a good while because I was a little too ferklempt, if you know what I mean.

Number 2-  In tenth grade, I was into local punk and ska. Bands like Guttermouth, the Skeletones, and the Voodoo Glow Skulls. Guttermouth was playing at the local theatre so me and my group of friends met up with some other friends I didn’t know so we could all cram in a van and head to the show together. There was a girl there named Sandra. She was really tough-looking: her long blonde hair was in cornrows, she was wearing a wife beater and long skater shorts the boys wore. We were all in my friends bedroom getting ready, and Sandra was in the corner on the phone. I was zoning out, staring at her when I noticed she had a tongue piercing (this was still back in the day when a tongue piercing was pretty rare for high schoolers). When she got off the phone, I said curiously, “I wonder what it feels like to kiss someone with a tongue piercing?” I was merely pondering the thought out loud when she walked up to me and planted one on me. Holy crap. The mixture of her toughness combined with soft girl lips was a little too much for me and I ended up being in shock the whole damn night. Apparently she took a shine to me and ended up protecting me from all the boys throwing elbows in the mosh pit at the show!

Number 1- In tenth grade (again), a boy named Miles told me he liked me. Miles was not my type in any way. He was…soft, and I was a rock chick who wore leather bracelets and black eyeliner. He listened to indie bands back when indie really was indie, and dressed the part. His friends ranged from the girls I always thought were way too cool to ever like a girl like me, to his best friend who dressed in all black and went to midnight showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”-in full drag. I’m not the type to discount someone just because they were different, so I spent the day with him in my friend’s neighbourhood (and made sure my friend tagged along with us). His different outlook was interesting, but I felt like we were night and day. In the evening, I had told Miles I needed to go, and my friend sat at the curb because she thought I may need a moment to let him down easy. He was very soft-spoken, so I didn’t really know what to say because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. We were underneath a streetlight and I went to say something, but he caught me off-guard and went in for a kiss. My knees went weak. Fireworks exploded in my head. The intensity and passion this sweet guy had was unbelievable! He pulled away and I can only imagine how stunned I looked. We parted ways that evening, and after a few more days fizzled out for good-on both ends. He ended up telling me we had very little in common. Fifteen years later I still remember every aspect of that kiss, and would KILL to have a friend with interests like his in my life. Oh, cruel teenage brain!

There are a few more studs and duds going down memory lane, but those three stand out most, probably because they were fully unexpected. Thank God my hubs is a great kisser, because every day I get to experience mind-blowing kisses. Awwww.

November 05, 2010

Hed’s Friday Flick.

HFF

There’s a movie I have wanted to re-watch for years now, called “The Adventures of Milo and Otis”. I didn’t really remember the whole movie, but I do remember it had a cat in it and it was awesome. When my husband showed me that his mum had the DVD, I freaked out and we had to watch it right away.

First off, if you don’t like this movie, you are a terrorist. You can’t not like this movie! Unless you don’t have a soul. Or are a future serial killer that hates animals. The story is about a mom cat on a farm that has a litter of kittens, and one of them, Milo, can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Milo meets a pug pup on the farm and they become instant best friends. Milo gets into trouble and floats down the river, and Otis tries to keep up with him on the river bank. They both have a couple of misadventures with other animals along the way and always seem to just miss each other on their journey.

There’s a part when they meet again, and I sobbed like a baby. No, not when I was a kid, I mean like this last week when I watched it. I think it was a mixture of the adorableness of Milo and Otis, and because I missed my two cats, Sam and Portal, like crazy. (I had to leave them behind in the States. Sadface.) I’m not a dog person, but you can’t help looking at cute little Otis’ pug face and going, “awwwwwww!” The two separate once more and then…well, you have to watch the movie.

Now that I have been able to watch the movie as an adult, my cynical side came into play and I had to Wiki it. I was arguing with my hubs that I couldn’t believe they let a cat float down a mini-waterfall or throw a cat into the ocean! He argued that there were probably a million people on stand-by to make sure the cat was safe. But-they threw a CAT in the OCEAN!!! Well, it turns out that humane organizations were up in arms over the filming, but the director spent four years filming hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage, so I’m assuming that he must have loved animals and didn’t do anything to harm them. Or as my husband smirked, “well, it’s been twenty years since it was filmed, so all the animals are long dead anyway”. Touché, honey.

I give this movie 9 Hed stars (it would have been 10, but they THREW a CAT in the OCEAN!!!) «««««««««

November 04, 2010

Colour my Thursday.

This post is supposed to land on Mondays, but I’m a procrastinator. Before I get into it I’d like to tell you a short story. Last Tuesday, while everyone was participating in the national elections back home (I hope YOU voted!), all of Australia was sitting in front of the TV watching the Melbourne Cup. It is billed as “the race that stops the nation”, and its such a big deal that Victorians get a day off because of the event (I’d like to lobby Congress for days off in America for the Super Bowl, NBA finals and the World Series). That morning I was looking at the online bets and stuff (gambling is HUGE in Australia), and I started looking at the horse names. One stood out: Americain. I ran over to J and was like, “look! There’s a horse named Americain! We should totally bet $10 on it so I can tell people ‘I bet on Americain hardy har har’” and he told me “no way! Betting is stupid. Besides that horse has like a 12 to 1 chance against it”. I hemmed and hawed that ten bucks was nothing, that it would be fun to bet on my first ever Melbourne Cup and so on, but he emphatically said no. So I went on about my day.

A little after 2pm I hear J yelling and  go out into the living room to see what he’s hollering about. The cup was on, and I was annoyed that he didn’t call me in to watch it! So all I ended up watching was the horse cross the finish line. I asked J, “so who won?” and he tells me “Americain”. Oh.My.GOD. You have no idea how mad I was. Like steam coming out of my ears mad. Not because I would have made 120 bucks, no. I was SO MAD that out of like twenty horses MY pick won and he wouldn’t let me bet on it! AND it was called AMERICAIN!!! I mean that would have been an AMAZING story. Lots of four letter words were flung out, I’d like to add. And I’m still angry! Moral of the story is? Don’t listen to what your husband says. Ever! (J, if you’re reading this, I kid I kid!)

Okay so on to “Colour my week”. As I’ve said, Erica from Recycled Fashion does a colour themed blog at the beginning of every week as kind of a way to brighten everything up and start your week off right. Last week was green, a colour I don’t usually wear but can appreciate. This week is orange. Oh, how I loathe orange. Orange is by far my least favourite colour! I love red and I like yellow, so I don’t know why orange drives me crazy. The only time I ever wear orange on my person is when I dye my hair red and the red fades.

yes, I’m really THAT pale.Hed March 10

I have a hard time even THINKING about orange in fashion, so I am going to post about the first orange things that come to mind.

Glorious Reese’s. I ordered some from home and they are happily in the freezer.

Autumn! I have to admit, I’m missing fall back home like crazy.

You just can’t think of Halloween without a pumpkin!

Or Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie.

Christina Hendricks. Holy crap. (Okay technically she’s a redhead)

And lastly…yesterday I was watching TV while my husband was sleeping next to me so I decided to put makeup on him out of boredom (and possibly to get back at him for the Melbourne Cup incident). I’d like to point out that this is the first time he has ever let me put makeup on his face and he is ALL MAN (just in case he is reading this). but it actually looked pretty sexy so I made him pose for me. In honour of today’s colour wheel I tinted the picture so I could have an excuse to put the picture on my blog!

All man, ladies :)

November 03, 2010

NaNoWriMo vs. NaBloPoMo

No I’m not speaking Maori! “NaNoWriMo” stands for National Novel Writing Month. “Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.” Just like most things, I am a day late and a dollar short. I first heard about NaNoWriMo on October 26 when Ramblings of an Emotional Idiot posted that she signed up and was ready to start. For about five minutes I pondered whether or not the outline I have for a young adult book would pan out into a full on novel so I can say I accomplished something this month, but it was not to be. I’ve got so many mental health issues I am working through to really sit down and write something more than a few pages of content, then I would be pissed off I didn’t complete it. So I strive for my brain to be working fully next November!

C. over at In an Opal-Hearted Country (PS if you’re an expat or love looking at GORGEOUS Australian landscape check out her page) mentioned she was participating in “NaBloPoMo”, which stands for, you guessed it, National Blog Posting Month. Yeah, they sort of ripped off NaNoWriMo, but this site is a little more lax. The goal here is to write a blog a day for an entire month. It doesn’t matter what month, just as long as you commit to the goal. That one seems a little easier for me.

A big difference is that NaNoWriMo has a set goal of 50,000 words in one month. The quality of the content isn’t as important-they just want you to get your creative juices flowing. NaBloPoMo just wants you to post a blog a day for a month (although I swear I read they want you do post as many blogs as possible in a month somewhere on the site). I’m hoping one blog a day for a month will help me get some routine to my post, such as going back to my “Hed's Friday Flick” posts or “Hed's Sunday Shout-Out”. I’d like to add a “Youtube Tuesday” in there and follow through with the Monday editions of “Colour my Week”, a blog idea from Erica over at Recycled Fashion (PS Erica! It’s my blog for tomorrow, I swear!). That will give my blog a LOT of padding, ha ha.

Today I’m just as sick as yesterday, only today the cough rolled in. I feel gross and tired and miserable, and it’s raining (which I love), humid and sticky (which I hate). I also wanted to give a big ole “Thank You!” to the people who commented (either on the page or privately) on my post from yesterday. Like I’ve said a million times, this blog was made in order to share the journey I am taking in Australia, and my other blog was made to deal with my issues and private life. At first I tried to make sure the two were completely separate, but I’m not two people. Ups and downs that happened in America also happen here. It seems weird and not the whole truth if I just write about the funny or awesome things that happen to me, and not the struggles with culture shock or things I am missing deeply, you know? My blog readership has gone up, and I’m grateful for each and every one of you. I also only ended up going halfway with the “30 Days of Truth” challenge, mostly because the last leg of the posts were either discussed by me previously or just plain boring! I’m keeping the list for a rainy day when I have nothing to talk about.

So that’s about it for me today. I keep sitting on the computer for an hour, getting tired, laying down and watching TV, getting bored, sitting on the computer, etc. I hate being sick. I’m gonna go lay down and watch TV now.

November 02, 2010

Three suitcases.

I still happen to be in the process of regulating my mood swings, so this post was supposed to be about something completely different. Then I had a huge fight with the husband, and took a nap. I woke up feeling sad and having thoughts of how so much can change in such a small period of time.

In the beginning of 2007, I ended up having to move from my first solo (with a roommate) apartment in Orange County to over an hour away in Fontana, of all places. I have never lived in this area and never, ever wanted to, but it was kind of an emergency situation, and a great friend offered me a room in his house for half the rent I was paying in the OC. Fontana is GHETTO, so much so that its nickname is “Fontucky”,  I lived a block away from Rancho Cucamonga, a slightly higher notch on the decent city scale, so I would usually tell people I lived there. At this time I worked in Riverside, so Fontana to Riverside was a 25 minute drive versus Orange County to Riverside, which was about 40 minutes. I felt bad for my poor family, who had to haul all my stuff such a long way, but only having a room’s worth of stuff wasn’t too bad: a bed, dresser and nightstand from IKEA; a computer desk that had been assembled and re-assembled too many times to count; an entertainment centre I’ve had since the tenth grade; and personal effects like clothes, pictures and junk. My stepdad and brother-in-law did the heavy lifting, and I had moved into a larger house-but into a much smaller room.

Fast forward 18 months to October 2008. I have a great job as a restaurant manager 5 minutes away from my house, and I’m engaged to be married in December. I still live alone so to speak because my then-fiancé and I are dealing with immigration to get him into the States on a permanent resident visa. His final interview to approve the visa is October 8, and we are about 99% sure it will be approved. I start looking around for apartments for the two of us because I have the means to rent one, and I want to start our journey together in a place of our own. As much as I had gotten used to all the amenities that were at my fingertips in Rancho, I start thinking of my husband’s interests. Australia is a country of 22 million people. California by contrast has 36 million. At this time my husband was in Australia living with his parents to save money-in a town of 8,000. Rancho had 178,000 people. When J had come over to America before, he was fascinated at the size of where I lived, and I never gave it much thought. I mean, Orange County was big. Los Angeles was big. I lived in the Inland Empire! Small potatoes. My job was pretty much set, and I could look anywhere for a place for us as long as I can drive to it. I chose to look in my hometown.

Where I grew up was a small, semi-mountain town that had one main street with street lights and no McDonalds. My grown siblings had also migrated there to start families of their own, and it was just a less threatening place. I scouted the area and instantly fell in love with a two bedroom townhouse for rent. It was just under the threshold of what I could afford, and 30 minutes to drive to work was nothing to me, so I grabbed it. I took pictures of the empty house and sent them to J to make sure he approved, which he did. This move, however, was much more planned out: although I had only a room’s worth of stuff, for the new house I had purchased a sectional couch which was located in Moreno Valley; a refrigerator from Corona; and a donated oak entertainment centre from Chino. My stepdad, brother, and brother-in-law picked up all the items along the way and still had to move all of my stuff out! On October 8 J was approved, and on October 27 he had a plane ticket and visa to come start a life with me in America. Poor J. Two days after he landed I surprised him with tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt, the 31st was Halloween, the 1st we moved in and the 2nd was my bridal shower. He was a soldier and never complained at the hectic pace. Everything just magically fell into place for us, and we were marching forward to happily ever after. I thought.

I loved our new house. Loved it. The neighbourhood was quiet, the place was huge and spacious, and the weather was always amazing. It sometimes tended to snow in the winter a little bit, and I was so happy to share the “first time” moments I had with J and our journey together.

Hats off to a new life.The Front

Snow at the Corner Jan 10

I always look back at the period right before I married and the period right after, and there is such a disconnect. Right before I was elated that the fight my then-fiancé and I had with immigration was finally over and was more in love with him than I could imagine ever being. The wedding details fell into place and my job was going great. Right after the cracks started appearing in myself, and my anxiety rose to the highest it’s ever been. I honestly think it had to do with having a sense of completion for once in my life. I had the husband, the great job, the great house, the dream car. I was settled and happy. Now what??? I started seeing a psychiatrist to try and level back out. I never did. After months of struggle, I broke. I quit my job with no notice. I dropped out of college, after having started again and getting perfect scores in my classes. Our amazing landlords gave us a three-month discount on our rent to help get us back on our feet, but the rent payment was too much, even after going on temporary disability for my depression. We needed to find a new home.

We got lucky and found a small one-bedroom apartment about 15 minutes from where we were living and got a rent break if we were able to move in three weeks. We never got our $1200 deposit back on the townhouse because we were unable to pay the last month’s rent as well as the new apartment’s rent. Yet again, my family came to the rescue and moved all of our items into our new apartment. It took some feng shui’ing for sure, and even though it was small, it never seemed crampy. We had an upstairs apartment with beautiful views of the west, and of the snow-capped mountains of the east.

May Sunset

East View from Apt

I happened to quit my job at pretty much the worst time in American history, and my husband couldn’t find a job to sustain us. My disability payments were on the verge of expiring, and we were at a loss. J’s parents stepped in and offered to put us on a plane to Australia and let us start over. After three weeks of serious critical thinking and crunching numbers, we took the offer and planned to move at the end of August-10 weeks from our decision date. My days were spent closing accounts, notifying people of our move, packing boxes, selling things left and right, and throwing things away that had true sentimental value. I had to have my dream car repossessed. I gave my beautiful, loved cats back to the no-kill animal shelter we got them from as kittens. I had to tell my friends and family goodbye, not knowing when I would see them again. We got on a plane and headed to Australia.

My entire life was compacted into three suitcases.

If I’m being really honest, I have to say I don’t know if I’ll ever adapt here. I consider this a test of my strength and inner will. If I leave, I fail. If I stay, I’m miserable. I’ve had the thought do I love my husband more than my family, more than my country and my entire way of life? one too many times here, and a lot of the time I feel numb. I’ve started up therapy over here and have been feeling good over the past week, but I still suffer from mood swings that could come at any given time. I sit and dwell on what would have happened if I just rewound the tape, could just go back and do something, anything different. I believe things always happen for a reason. But I’ve been here for 9 weeks now, and I still have yet to see what that reason is.

I’m back to one room, by the way.