sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Thursday, July 24, 2008's well and truly winter now

So several months have past and now it is winter. Winter sucks. It's cold, wet and grey most of the time. And judging by how many layers of clothes I wore to bed last night, I have well and truly lost my Minnesota skin. For those of you over the other side, I am too embarrassed to tell you how cold it gets here because it's just not quite up to scratch. Let's just say that it hardly ever even freezes here, but damnit, it's still cold. Without central heating you could surely sympathise anyway.

Enough about the weather, let's catch you all up on the happenings in Melbourne since March. Work has been relatively busy. I have stage managed a couple of shows in the mean time and am looking forward to a relatively cruisy (correct usage Brock) second half of the year. Being back in the theatre has been great. Of course, Melbourne Festival will return in October, and my alcohol consumption will increase ten fold, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

The last few months have seen a few trips and lots of visitors. Starting off in March with Tara the Irish (that's her wrestling name) visiting us along with Alycia for St Patty's Day. The 3 of us headed off on the hottest day of the year to the Grand Prix. Fast cars, smashes, dirt, heat, Kiss (as in the band, not 3 girls kissing). It was one of those days that was almost too hot for drinking beer, but we did have a great time. I was absolutely covered in dirt at the end, but it was a great way to spend the day. I was working through most of St Patty's Day but managed to squeeze in a beer just before midnight.

Tara and I Prixing it up...

Easter - long girly weekend. This was a fantastic trip. About 6 of us headed down the Mornington Peninsula for the 4 days and just hung out. We drank wine, sat in the huge outdoor spa at our house, cooked amazing meals and watched all the chick flicks you can imagine. Easter brunch was delicious and included Sarah Grubb pancakes. Let's not forget that the Good Friday dinner was ruined because I left all of the yummy salmon I bought in the fridge in Melbourne. It wasn't good enough to eat when we got back either, so that really sucked. We had fish and chips instead. Not quite the gourmet experience I had planned but traditional nonetheless. The weather was fantastic, and we even managed to fit in some beach footy and cricket. We spent the last day at the outdoor mineral spas just to wrap up the trip. Here we met up with several other ladies and relaxed as maximumly as possible, ladies of leisure style. Hanging out with the girls proved beneficial to all, and we can't wait to work out where to next year.

Kylie and I with the giant chess board...

Celebrity Hot Tubbing it...

Beach Cricket...

Back Beach Relaxing

Girls at the spa

Post Spa Beers and Food with the others

That pretty much takes us up to Eloise officially moving in to the Swanky Southbank Apartment. To celebrate, we did, in fact, have the Great Gatsby Experience Night. The catering was superb, the music was classy, the costumes were amazing and the company was highly enjoyable to say the least. I think my favourite food item would have to be the cherry tomatoes with goat's cheese and pesto. Mmmm. The deviled eggs didn't turn out half bad either, and the parfaits were actually a sight to behold.

Trashy making the Mint Juleps

Trashy and I a bit later on in the night...

Eloise and Speck

The hangers-on early in the AM

Some dapper dudes...

May was relatively uneventful and so was June. Just busy putting shows in and taking shows out. But on the 25th June, my brother Brock came to visit us for a couple of weeks. Of course, the entire fortnight of his visit was jammed packed, but I think he had a good time. Meals, trivia night, a show at the Malthouse, biking through the city, Circus Oz and lots of beer were some of the highlights in just the first few days Brock was in Melbourne. Then we went on our jaunt through Victoria - just me and my brother. It was lovely. We spent 2 nights in the Grampians, which is sort of a rocky region of Victoria. Brock pretty much hiked me out on the first day, and the first night saw the worst storm ever in the Grampians, but we survived. Kangaroos aplenty in the Grampians so Brock was lucky. It took me 3 years to see one in the wild. I started to think that they weren't real. I had only seen them in zoos or dead on the side of the road. We ditched out on our accommodation in the Grampians on the last night, and we drove from Halls Gap to Apollo Bay via the Great Ocean Road. This was about 430kms (267 miles) in one day. The Subaru Forester did us well as Brock selected the driving tunes. We saw amazing rocks and beautiful coastline and covered just over 1100kms (685 miles) in just under 4 days. All in time to make it back to Melbourne for the 4th of July - Aussie style.

Brock and I at our first peak entitled The Pinnacle - we nearly blew away

My album cover shot including the view from The Pinnacle...

Brock at another peak we conquered

At a waterfall in the Otways

At the 12 Apostles...damn it was cold and wet

The Start of the Great Ocean Road...However we started at the end

I crammed in some half-assed studying for the Citizenship Test which I passed with flying colours on the 4th of July at 2pm (I know, it's totally ironic). Then we headed home to decorate the apartment in USA/Red/White/Blue. I cooked up the sloppy joes, picked up the cookie cakes (one Aussie flag, one US flag) and Brock again selected an amazing mix of USA tunes for getting our groove on to. Team America contributed to the party via Projectorvision as well. Everyone came around, and we celebrated US independence day by celebrating my nearly officially Aussie-ness. It was very exciting. And the ceremonious cutting and then combining of the cookie cakes was tear jerking. How I cannot wait for the official Citizenship Ceremony party day. Looks like it will be had at the House of Malt (my theatre), and everyone is invited. Will do more official invites once I actually work out when they are letting me to be truly Aussie. Once all that is sorted, I will actually begin Law School at Melbourne Uni. Who would have thought that would be such a long drawn out process?

USA Window Clings...thanks Mom!

Obama T-shirt and a flashy American flag pin

The cakes...yum

Lyd's red, white and blue frogs in a pond....they landed on the couch immediately following this photo

Trashy's birthday extravaganza was next on the agenda. Beers, nachos, more cookie cake and dancing was done by everyone. Even though it did get a little too messy for my liking in the end, I was proud of my efforts on the collective eventful weekend. I think I had a total of 10 hours sleep over 3 evenings, perhaps 12. Not enough by anyone's standards, of this I am sure.

The earliest photo of the day

Awww...siblings sharing the giant cookie - we ate too much cookie in 2 days

Best friends forever sparklers...way better than candles

Another album cover shot of the chick band...who's fronting?

A bit later on in the night...brotherly love

2 hot chicks dancing...

A great Brock dancefloor shot

A photo that summed up the night for most of us...

We rounded out the weekend with some yummy breakfast food and a big goodbye BBQ where Brock did some fantastic cooking. We even managed to squeeze in a visit with some friends of mine who also share my love for Collingwood. We introduced Brock to their daughter, Ruba, who was appropriately dressed for the occasion. My kids will all look like this one day...a long time from now. I am sure they won't be typical bogan Collingwood fans however.

Brock survived the long flight back, and Melbourne misses him already. Perhaps he will come back to pursue his working opportunities sometime in the future. Melbourne would love to host you, brother.

That brings us up to just about now. I have tried to retreat a bit to save some money, but it's not fitting in with my social life. With pretty expensive Stevie Wonder tickets in October, I really must watch my ever-increasing expenditure, but who could resist Stevie, really? DVDs are calling me this weekend, along with hot chocolate and my heater. But I am sure I will be dragged out of my Collingwood flannel pants at some point to drink beers and be merry. If only my team could stop losing.

I am in need of good books for reading. If you have any suggestions, email away. Books and winter are good together. Come summer, I need to find some fitness activity that actually sparks my interest. Brock was inspirationally fit. I am sure soon enough it will be warm again, and we will all be living outside yet again.

Take care and if I am headed to the northern part of the world in the near future, I will let you know. At this stage it's looking like next July before some possible very big changes of scenery. Watch this space. I feel a huge trip coming on. Next post should feature my birthday and citizenship ceremony for sure!


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