Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Work=cake=fair dinkum of a deal

I sort of have a job! I started freelance work for a video production company a few weeks ago, and have worked 50-60 hr weeks since. I actually have a career-like job, and the office dog is in love with me so I am happy. 

I also got articles published in the Australian Associated Press, Canberra Times, and Townsville Bulletin. Look at me getting paid to think!

Bob is an even more fantastic man because he bought me chocolate cake to celebrate!

So once my brain reboots I'll post a new story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A horse named Dingo

I'm sore. My legs throb, my palms are rubbed raw, my right ankle is swollen, I'm $65 poorer and I have to sleep outside on the ground. I was not mugged in the city or thrown out of my apartment due to illegally housing goldfish. Nope, Bob and I went camping.

We headed north on a cloudy day to Glenworth Valley for my horseback riding lesson. The sun popped out for an hour as I rode a horse named Dingo. I immediately liked him because he has the same name as my cat.
 Just knowing there is another soul out there who likes to make animals as species-confused as I do cheered me up immensely. 

 We walked, trotted, and cantered about the corral. I had a great time and it wasn't until my feet touched ground again that I realized how sore I was. 

Bob and I had purchased a tent the night before to camp, and while camping sounded good then, my muscles were now screaming with multilingual swears of insanity. We pitched our tent in a lower paddock and, due to a fire ban, drove to the nearby town of Gosford in search of sustenance. 

Gosford has a big hill to go down, a few closed streets, then a big hill to drive back up. Ta-dah. You would think it'd be easy to find an open restaurant in a town of 150,000 but that was not the case.  We ended up getting surprisingly good pizza at a shop next to a gas station.

On our way back to the tent we passed some wallabies and lots of parrots.
 We opened a bottle of wine and took a stroll through the campsites as night settled in. Bob got well into the wine, and while he was in charge of putting one foot in front of the other, I was in charge of making sure we didn't step on any funnel web spiders and die. Bob had more fun.

Though sore, I was out before ten. I woke up early and walked to the car to get a few things. Walking back to the tent, I found myself slightly lost. Our tent had become obscured behind 200 frisky horses. 

I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. I realized guides were bringing the horses up to the stables for the day, and I also realized that standing in front of 200 galloping horses wasn't the smartest idea. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Victoria Bushfires

This photo is by Mark Pardew. 

This past week has been a nightmare for many people and wildlife in Australia. Bushfires have been sweeping through Victoria and parts of New South Wales. Thankfully, Bob and I are far from any fires. But that can't be said for the residents of over 450,000 hectares which are now scarred tracks of land. Over 5,000 people have lost their homes, 180 have lost their lives, and the fires are still burning. 

I know times are tough right now, but if any of you have some spare change, the Australian Red Cross is taking donations to help with relief efforts. Thank you and I wish you all the best.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pirate Beer Goggles

You're a pirate. You've been out to sea for months with no other company but your grimy pirate mates. You start to miss the company of the opposite sex. And then, one day, as the sun rises over the waves of a gentle sea, you spot a woman. Her hair flows down her back and as she turns toward you, her lustful brown eyes catch you in a net of entrapment. In one moment, you jump ship and swim with her to the depths in search of physical fulfillment. 
Swimming deeper after your visionary beauty, you suddenly realize she's half fish. As your lungs scream for breath you start to wonder how the physics would actually work out.  You gaze into her brown eyes and realize they don't hold the passion of unbridled lust, but a dull, cow-like emptiness. Come to think of it, she has quite a honker of a nose . . . and what happened to her hair? As your lungs curse the distance to the surface, your last thought is one shared by many a nightclubbers to this day, "What the hell was I thinking!?!"
Or simply, "Oh Shit!"

You have succumbed to the power of the dugong. Dugongs are marine mammals related to manatees (and distant relatives of the elephant). Supposedly sailors (after having one too many sips of sea water) mistook dugongs for sultry mermaids. Which, if you've ever seen a dugong, seems pretty desperate. For really, how long would a sailor have to be away from women in order to mistake a dugong for one?

The Sydney Aquarium now has two dugongs on display and Bob and I went to see them with our friend Kristin. While the dugongs are elegant in the water with their dolphin-like tail, their front end slightly resembles a cow. Dull brown eyes curiously view visitors as these gentle creatures graze on seagrass or swim playfully around their enclosure. 
So my question to you gentlemen is: How long at sea would you have to be to mistake a dugong for a woman?