Monday, October 8, 2012

The 5 stages of...oh good grief, we're moving again?

Every two years, for the past 10 years or so, I move.  This was somewhat acceptable in my nomad/college life, but as I've gotten older and acquired more stuff, it's become sort of a pain.  And we're to the point where paying off our family and friends to help us move with pizza and beer is becoming more of a taboo.

So when we ditched most of our worldly possessions to move to Australia, we thought, oh joy, we won't have to do this for the next few years!  And even though this fit our typical pattern, we knew that firstly, when we moved back to the states, we'd only have like 7 suitcases in tow, and secondly, we KNEW we'd be going back.

For those of you who've been keeping track, we've had some issues with our apt in croydon.  you may remember the Great Toilet String Incident of April 2012.  we've also had a leaking ceiling water feature in the guest bedroom since we've moved in.  and a few weeks ago, finally fed up that we could no longer use either of our balconies and all the construction going on, we filed paperwork to go to court and amend the situation. 

Ammending the situation turned out to be an email from the real estate agent letting us know the landlord was releasing us from our lease without any penalties.  It was a time saver, because then we didn't have to go to court.  Which was nice, but still, instead of things getting fixed, we were now looking for a new apartment.

Now don't get me wrong, the apartment in croydon is nice in its' own way and it's practically a sprawling mansion.  it's got two floors and two bathrooms, and that's pretty sweet.  so we knew if we'd be heading in closer to the city that we'd have to make some compromises.  We looked at a few kinda skanky places (one with a resident huntsman) and finally Shawn found a nice (tiny) two bedroom with a bath and air conditioning and a dishwasher in the city in a fancy, new apartment tower.  It also has an awesome SKY GARDEN, where I will be spending relaxing weekends and evenings in the sunshine.  (and a gym and a sauna and a media room!)

If you've been paying attention you'll also know that from September 20th until November 11th, Shawn and i have visitors.  three different sets.  So now we were juggling school, work, visitors, AND moving.  we like a challenge.

Of course now that I've literally got one day to pack, I'm sort of having some issues with it.

I bring you Devon's 5 Stages of Packing Grief.

Stage 1: Denial.  We got the apartment quite some time ago.  Have I even considered packing anything before today?  No.  Y'know why?  Packing is so easy!  We don't have any stuff.  it'll all fit in like...a suitcase.  Boxes?  heh.  We don't need no stinkin' boxes.  Besides, the move is soooooo far away.


Stage 3: Bargaining.  I would be willing to shell out cash money for someone to do this for me.  Also, if someone could just fix the stuff wrong with our current apartment (and magically move it closer to the city) I wouldn't have to move at all!

Stage 4: Depression.  (<---my current stage)  Moving is horrid.  Moving quickly is even more horrid.  I don't even want to be doing this right now.  I just want to take a nap.  My body is shutting down.  I'm having serious thoughts of just crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head in hopes this will all magically pack itself...or like just writing a blog instead about moving. (whoops, did i just jump back to denial?)

Stage 5: Acceptance.....yeah.  I'm not sure I'm going to get there.  But I have packed some suitcases, and that's a start.

That being said, since Australia is the 1950's, our internets might be down for bit.  When I get back (in an approximated 14 day waiting period), I'll tell you all about my exciting Sydney adventures, my new best friend the owl and the ice cream of my native land!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fairly obsessed

For practically my entire life, I have been going to the Big E.  I’ve never been so far away from New England that I haven’t been able to indulge in all its’ delicious fried delights.  I spend an entire year planning out what I’m going to eat. 

A sample standby menu from years past:
·        Pork Chop Sandwich
·        Apple Cider Slushie (they got rid of the place that did hot cider with a cinnamon candy stick, so I have moved on)
·        Maple Cotton Candy
·        A Maine Baked Potato.  Only from the Maine building.  I’m ashamed of everyone who buys it from elsewhere.
·        Samples of the dips from the state buildings on pretzels
·        Several bites of Shawn’s Steak and Cheese
·        A Red Candy Apple to take home
·        Cheese Curds.  (Thanks Steff.)
·        Mini donuts only from the Donut Family.  You can get a bucket for 10$ but that just seems sort of obscene*

In addition to eating all of this (and for realz, my stomach is groooowwwling) I usually get something special.  Last year we tried fried sheppards pie (gravy on the side) and fried cookie dough.  It’s really one whole day where I completely pig out...besides all days i do that.  (weekdays.)

So needless to say, I have been trying my darndest to ignore my heartbreak for missing it this year.  (and trying to ignore shawn’s pure unadulterated joy) When whining relaying my dismay about how sad I was to miss it, one of my co-workers pointed out that from Sept 22 until October 7th there was the ROYAL MELBOURNE FAIR!  She said magical things like "you want to pat a chook?  you can pat a chook.  You can pat everything." And naturally that was the first weekend Shawn’s parents were going to be here, and THEY were missing the Big E too, so I decided we should all go.  (See how that works?)

In the morning, I didn’t want to eat a lot so I just stuck with an apple and some cheese before we left the house.  Who knew what delicious things would be in store?

The fair is sort of like the Big E, but a little smaller.  There’s vendors hawking stuff, and all sorts of agricultural who-ha going on.  We watched a bit of the horses prancing around, and I decided we should all “EAT AUSTRALIAN!”  By this I meant I was looking for meat pies, but could not find them.  So Ron and I both had some sausages, sue had an egg and bacon, and shawn…yeah, he still had a steak and cheese.  I also ordered some HJD’s (Hot Jam Donuts) because they are scrumptious.  It turned out these ones weren’t the best I’ve had but really, can you ever have a BAD HJD?  No.  You cannot.

I don't think he knew he was in the picture
Excited for HJD's.

In one of the buildings there were some free samples from Woolworths (the grocery store) so I had some snacks.  I ALSO got a Tasmanian devil cookie cutter.  Epic.

I am clearly disappointed in my stomach.  I wanted to eat ‘somuchfairfood’, but they really didn’t have too much that I wanted to eat and after the free samples, I was feeling full (so lame of my stomach).  But what they did have that was new were showbags.

<enter choir of angels singing>
Showbags are an interesting idea.  They have trailers full of these selections of bags.  And in the bags are different things, like a bag full of candy, or wigs, or magazines.  And then you buy tons of them apparently.  To be fair, they stuff inside is pretty cheap for Aussie prices.  I got a Cadbury bag full of Freddo chocolate frogs, a coffee mug, a pen and some Freddo playing cards all for $10.  Retail it would be like…$150,000.  I’m sure I did the math there correctly.

Ninentdo Showbag has: Instant Noodles and Energy drinks.
The Best the USA has to offer:
Pringles, Reeces, Hersheys, Dr Pepper & AW

In the tradition of the Big E, Shawn and I had a ride on the Giant Slide.  To get up to the top, it didn’t have stairs, it had a really horrible steep ramp at an odd angle.  Awful.  BUT!  Exciting news of the day, I WON the race!  Shawn says the man at the top was stepping on his rug but clearly it was my giant slide skills.  And maybe the different material on the mats.  Perhaps burlap just isn’t my thing.
Prepare to lose, Shawn.
Much like any US fair, they also had craft buildings, or as I call them, those cakes I can't make and weird artwork.

I'll get practicing....
Newest Pinterest Idea.
Also there were typical fair activities like horse shows!
I seriously want one of these.  I am willing to ship it back to the states.  (Tiny horse included)
  And of course, for your viewing pleasure, I present a selection of  glamour shots for fair animals.

Shawn also won me a Keroppi stuffed animal from a darts game.  I will only be winning/getting frog type animals at any fair here ever.  It’s my decree.
Though I can’t say it was the same type of gastronomic journey that the Big E is, I had a very nice time enjoying an Australian Fair. 

*You know I mean amazing there, right?