Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where a kid can be a kid . . .

My skin begins to crisp in the sun, I take a break in the shade, as a blue tongued skink searches for insects in the undergrowth of a purple flowering tree.

A pair of magpies land fifteen feet away and I keep a wary eye on them. One of the large, black and white birds rubs its beak against a metal railing. I imagine it sharpening its beak for better entrance into my retina. In a luscious, nearby park, a bird cries out in a guttural screech. By the sound of it, it must be a relative of velociraptors.

I take a deep breath and reacquaint myself with the strange sounds, smells, and warmth of Sydney.

I’ve spent weeks glued to my computer on 95 degree days looking for work. Job hunting is one of the most degrading / confidence knocking tasks on the planet. I feel capable of dealing with daily rejection calls one by one. But at the recent rate of twenty per day, well, I’d much prefer to get punched in the face by a chubby acne-scarred teenager.

While I may not be the best candidate in the world, I do believe I am indeed qualified to be a funeral attendant. I can easily produce an award-winning frown, giving me a natural and continued appearance of sadness and deep concern. Who wants a happy funeral attendant anyway? Would you really prefer to go to a funeral hall where, upon entrance a chipper young lass smiles and with a mirthful voice says, “Hi! Welcome to ‘Turn Your Frown Upside Down’ funeral services! Now don’t be a Debbie downer! Give us a smile! Your mate may be dead but hey- you’re still alive! Oh and fingers crossed! Maybe they left you something in their will! Cheers!”

Come on.

So after today’s interview and after looking through today’s new job postings I have decided to take a break and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a good reminder that while I don’t have a job, at least I don’t have a job in a nice location.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fluorescent Marsupial

Flying back to Sydney after holidays in the States, I realized with one great sigh, that I was going to be warm again. While having a great time visiting friends and family back home, I came to one great, yet not earth-shattering conclusion - winter is cold. 

So it was with great relief that I flew into a sunny, green Sydney. To celebrate summer, Sydney holds a month long festival. 

Bob and I went to the opening Festival First Night where we enjoyed a multitude of free bands, artists, and fluorescent marsupial sculptures. 
This one is a Tasmanian Devil. 
Kids made the devil so I really couldn't make fun of it. The Tasmanian Devil Foundation was giving out devil horns with a donation, and I did enjoy seeing children show their true colors. No angels were in the crowd, just crazy, sugar-high, 3 foot devils.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh ... Christmas Tree???

Before Bob and I left for Christmas in the States, we decided to wander around Sydney in search of festivities. Back home in Chicago, this search would end with hot chocolate gripped in freezing hands, strolling along a festively cold Chicago night. We'd gaze at holiday window decorations in Macy's, continue to the outdoor Christkindle market for some frozen last minute shopping, then admire the massive pine Christmas tree in Daley Plaza. De-thawing would then commence at a nearby bar. 

Well . . . Sydney decorates the holidays a tad different. Bob and I walked to The Rocks district, where wreath-decked lampposts looked promising. 
We had heard there was a large Christmas tree there and wanted to take a look. I was imagining a beautiful pine tree gracing the old sandstone buildings in this historic district.
This was not what I had in mine. Behold, the Christmas Chair Tree. Apparently the city asked people to donate their old chairs to create a recycled tree. 
Now I'm all for recycling, but I found this monstrosity a tad disappointing. I did find some
 amusement in the rocking horse up top. 
But my general impression of the tree of chairs was vast confusion. This was not an uncommon feeling, as I saw several families with skipping children turn the corner, see the tree, and - even on a 3 yr old - I could see in their expression, "What the hell is that?!"

Bob and I moved on to Darling Harbour where Sydney boasted a massively festive tree. Well, if you can call a wire frame dressed in a projectile-electrical-vomit of lit madness a massively festive tree, then I suppose they did a great job.
However, for one desiring the scent and beauty of a pine tree, it was a tad disappointing. Even with the electrical kangaroos tastefully hopping up the side of the tree. Christmas in Sydney is unique, and they decorate uniqueness with gusto.